Watch Out For the Oakland A’s: Top Pitching and Countless Walk-Offs

Wednesday July 25th, 2012

John Burns:  Nobody would have told you prior to the season that the A’s would be 7 games over .500 in late July. With a 51-44 record the red-hot Oakland A’s have been one of the baseballs biggest surprises in baseball. Oakland is coming off a 4 game sweep of the AL East leading New York Yankees and that is when the A’s caught everyone’s attention. Oakland has a MLB-leading 11 walk-off victories this season. The A’s have the second lowest payroll in the league with $55 million and the New York Yankees who they just swept has a $200 million payroll. The A’s season so far has been basically a recap of the movie “Money ball”, how Oakland is having this success with virtually no superstar and such a low payroll is truly amazing. With the sweep of the Yankees the A’s are tied for a Wild Card spot. July has been a huge month for Oakland and they produced with a 15-2 record so far to show their GM Billy Beane they are serious. Add to that a 7-game winning streak. Still not convinced? Ask the Toronto Blue Jays and Ricky Romero. The A’s have taken 2-straight games in Toronto, including tonight’s 16-0 massacre. These A’s are a team to keep an eye on.

Oakland’s strength has been its pitching with a team ERA of 3.37 which is the fourth best in all of baseball. With pitchers like: Jarrod Parker (3.00 ERA), Tommy Milone (3.34 ERA), Brandon McCarthy (2.54 ERA), Bartolo Colon (3.97 ERA), Travis Blackley (2.86 ERA), and Ryan Cook (1.70 ERA) the A’s have flat-out dominated other teams. The A’s pitching staff is very young to which means the future for the A’s is looking bright. The hitting also picked significantly with 25 homers in the month of July which is the fourth most in MLB in the span of July. Yoenis Céspedes has emerged as the A’s leader even if he is a rookie. Oakland is 39-24 when Céspedes in the lineup and 12-20 when he is not. Just think about that for a second, this is no regular rookie. If it wasn’t for Mike Trout, Céspedes would most likely be the rookie of the year and especially if Oakland can keep it up.

As of July 25th Oakland is tied for a wildcard spot in the AL. But with the lineup they have now, they will need to acquire more offense. The Athletics were among the teams interested in Miami Marlins SS/3rd baseman Hanley Ramirez according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Now the A’s may need to focus on Stephen Drew, Yunel Escobar or another strong bat for their lineup. If Oakland can acquire a top infield bat, it wculd provide a much-needed spark at SS with Cliff Pennington (.197 average) struggling mightily. Oakland would most likely look for a shortstop and leave Brandon Inge at 3rd with his power and clutch hitting. But that is just speculation. This could be the year where Oakland actually buys at the deadline and Billy Beane goes and gets his guy. How good would Kevin Youkilis have looked in this lineup now? Watch out for the red-hot Oakland Athletics. They are serious and ready for a playoff run.

***John Burns- MLB reports Intern:  I am a highschool junior, play 1st base and catcher. I am a diehard Phillies fan. I  was born in Philadelphia but now live in Virginia. I come from a huge baseball family and just love the game. My cousin was drafted by the New York Mets in the 2008 MLB draft. My favorite players are Shane Victorino, Carlos Ruiz, and Ryan Howard. I tweet all the time and you can follow me on twitter(@JohnBurns_MLB)***

 

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About johnburnsmlb

MLB Reporter

Posted on July 25, 2012, in MLB Teams: Articles and Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Watch Out For the Oakland A’s: Top Pitching and Countless Walk-Offs.

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