If the Oakland A’s are to make it to their first postseason appearance since the 2006 season, the offense will have to help out a pitching staff that has been exceptional this season.
The A’s rank 2nd in the majors in ERA (2.83), and 4th in quality starts with 8. Oakland’s young starters have been exceptional through the season’s first 13 games: Gio Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA, Brett Anderson has a 2.29 ERA, and Trevor Cahill is 1-0 with a 3.12 ERA.
Oakland’s bullpen, which leads the AL with 5 saves, has gotten strong performances out of new additions Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour. Fuentes, who has all of Oakland’s 5 saves this season, is also 0-1 with a 2.70 in six appearances this year. Balfour, meanwhile, has been effective as a set-up man for Fuentes. He’s currently 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA in five appearances this season.
Offensively, however, Oakland hasn’t shown a tremendous amount of support so far this season. The A’s are hitting just .230 as a team, and rank 24th in runs (43), 26th in on-base percentage (.289), and 23rd in slugging (.352).
OF Josh Willingham, who came over this past offseason via trade with the Nationals, is currently batting just .222, but he does lead the team in home runs with three this season. Hideki Matsui, Oakland’s new DH, has two homers this season.
The A’s will need other players to step up on offense, namely Kurt Suzuki (.186/.255/.326), Kevin Kouzmanoff (.171/.182/.293), and David DeJesus (.190/.239/.214), if the team is to make any noise this season.
It’s still very early in the year, as division titles are not decided in April, but the A’s need to support their pitching staff if they want to play meaningful games in September.
Topics: A's, A's Bullpen, A's Offense, A's Starting Lineup, A's Starting Rotation, Appearances, Brett Anderson, Brian Fuentes, Earned Run Average, ERA, Gio Gonzalez, Grant Balfour, Innings, Innings Pitched, Lineup, Oakland A's, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Baseball, Promotions, Relievers, Runs, Starting Rotation, Trevor Cahill