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Monday, July 11, 2011

Oakland Athletics Midseason Report

It's been a rough go through 92 games for YOUR 2011 Oakland Athletics. Yes, I know I predicted them to win it all. I may have been wrong. I admit that now. I'm still attending games the rest of this season. I hope you all do too.

This team is still exciting. They're still in this thing in every game they play. They just can't always gets hits, which hurts, more often than not. However, when a kid like Guillermo Moscoso can pitch a two-hitter, you know you have a team on the verge of greatness. 2012 will be our year! Of course, there are still 70 games of 2011 yet, and it's not time to throw in the towel quite yet. Here's what we've seen so far.

Remember our opening day lineup? It looked like this:
CF Coco Crisp
1B Daric Barton
RF David DeJesus
LF Josh Willingham
DH Hideki Matsui
C Kurt Suzuki
3B Kevin Kouzmanoff
2B Mark Ellis
SS Cliff Pennington
Manager: Bob Geren

And our lineup Friday?
2B Jemile Weeks
CF Coco Crisp
DH Hideki Matsui
LF Josh Willingham
3B Scott Sizemore
RF Conor Jackson
1B Chris Carter
C Kurt Suzuki
SS Cliff Pennington
Manager: Bob Melvin

That's right. Our corner infielders are now in Sacramento, our big off season haul of DeJesus is now a reserve OF, and Mark Ellis is now a member of the Rockies. I'm actually really sad about that. He was the longest tenured Athletic and a leader of the team. He will be sorely missed.

In other news, Jemile Weeks, Ellis' replacement, won the Rookie of the Month award for June, so they have that going for them. Since his callup he's hitting .287 with 8 doubles, 14 runs, and 8 RBIs. Pretty impressive stuff. Chris Carter, our hope for young pop, has not seen much playing time yet, but is definitely performing a bit better than his 0-fer last year. However, 11 Ks in 25 ABs is not doing it for me either.

Aside from the rookies, the rest of the lineup is well, underperforming. And so the A's continue to slip in the standings. The first half offensive MVP goes to.... wait.... do we have one even close to that description? There are actually only 5 players on the A's roster with enough ABs to qualify for any award. Our offensive juggernaut.... batting an amazing .267 with 4 HR, 30 RBI, 5 3B, 18 2B, and 26 SB: Coco Crisp. WOOOOOOO. Willingham's 11 home runs and 44 RBI get him an honorable mention, but he doesn't have enough ABs to qualify.

The pitching has been marred by injuries, also leading to the downfall of this team. The lone Athletics all-star, Gio Gonzalez, truly deserves it: 8-6, 2.47, 111 K's. However, Trevor Cahill got off to a hot start, and has been shaky ever since. Everyone else? HURT. Braden is out of the season. Anderson is out for most of the season. The A's are just now getting Ross and McCarthy back. At one point, the A's were so hurt that a guy who was probably number 10 on the depth chart at starting pitcher was making starts. Though its great to see Josh Outman, Guillermo Moscoso, and Graham Godfrey making quality starts, it isn't going to get you wins.

The bullpen has been.... OK. Brian Fuentes (1-8,4. 82), I'm looking at you. 8 losses from a reliever at the break? Does anyone else see a problem? I personally cannot stand it every time we hand him the ball. Breslow has looked human, and so has Bailey. Balfour was been decent, as well as Devine and Ziegler, but no one is doing anything to make me excited. Ziegler's 2-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 35 appearances earn him the win at greatest bullpen pitcher so far.

Going into the season, I knew health would be key. They haven't stayed healthy. I knew that the lineup would have to score a few runs if the pitchers went down. They have not. Thus, the A's do not have a good record, and even poorer attendance. It seems like they're in almost every game, they just lose more than they win. They rarely put up a crooked number, and they rarely get that clutch single.

It's time to look towards 2012. Josh Willingham will be traded by the deadline, hopefully netting us another prospect who can make a longterm impact. Sizemore at third has been a godsend and one of our most reliable offensive threats over the past few weeks, maybe he will stay a part of the picture. I was afraid the A's might enter a Piratesque slump, and they're well on their way to a fifth consecutive losing season. But hey. Who knows? Baseball is a funny game. With healthy starters and a new outlook this second half, the A's could climb right back in this thing.

Song of the Post:
Sung by me to Mark Ellis:

Greatest Song Ever wouldn't let me embed

1 comment:

  1. Techincally last year wasn't a losing season 81-81, it wasn't a winning one either...power hitting or even the timely hit has been lacking before the break...but their defense I mean their little league defense has been the most upsetting 71 errors that has lead to 51 unearned runs; they should've at least gotten a split in Texas last week but their defense let them down yet again