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A’s Offensive Woes — Fact or Fiction?

Jay Payton is batting .407 in September and has a 10-game hitting streak

A lot of baseball experts have been wondering recently about how the Oakland Athletics put together winning season after winning season with limited offensive production.  It’s true that the A’s don’t have many huge bats in their lineup, and they can’t boast very many .300+ hitters, but they do have players who come through when it matters. 

Take Friday’s A’s lineup, for example…

  1. C Jason Kendall (.296/1HR/39RBI)
  2. 2B Mark Ellis (.243/11HR/43RBI)
  3. RF Milton Bradley (.265/10HR/40RBI)
  4. DH Frank Thomas (.275/33HR/92RBI)
  5. 3B Eric Chavez (.241/17HR/59RBI)
  6. CF Jay Payton (.301/10HR/53RBI)
  7. LF Nick Swisher (.247/30HR/84RBI)
  8. 1B Dan Johnson (.240/8HR/30RBI)
  9. SS Marco Scutaro (.246/4HR/32RBI)

Trust me, that lineup is not the envy of any team.  But it does have a decent amount of power in the Big Hurt (certainly this year’s best free-agent signing for the money — 33HR for under a million!), Nick Swisher (one of the best young switch-hitters in baseball — the AL’s Adam Dunn), and Eric Chavez (could have 30+ HR if he didn’t have elbow tendinitis).  It also has clutch guys like Jay Payton, who has a 10-game hitting streak, and is hitting .407 in September — no better time to get hot. 

In other words, the A’s win ballgames during the summer for two reasons.  Everyone talks about their stellar pitching and defensive play, and that’s certainly a major factor in their Dog Days success, but their hitters seem to get better toward the end of the season, as well. 

Why have the A’s put together eight consecutive winning seasons? 

Because they play their best baseball late in the year.

_______________________________________________________________________

Trivia Time!

The last Q and A…

Q: Excluding Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, at which stadium has Ryan Howard hit the most of his 80 career Homeruns?

A: Shea Stadium — he has hit 6 at the Mets ballpark this season, and 9 in his career

And the next question…

Before coming to the A’s in 2005, Jay Payton played for 4 different MLB teams in 7 seasons.  Can you name them?

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