By Jason Wojciechowski on May 6, 2008 at 6:10 PM
Baseball Musings: The Oakland Offense
Pinto's basic point: throw strikes and you win the game. This seems dead on. On the other hand, it's been true for at least the last three years, and the A's have still managed to win more than their share of games. For instance, 2006's pennant-winning team lineup included such luminaries as Jason Kendall, Dan Johnson, Mark Ellis, Bobby Crosby, Mark Kotsay, Jay Payton, and Marco Scutaro. The team slugged .412, good for second-to-last in the league. (In 2005, they were a little worse pure SLG-wise, but were 10th instead of 13th in the AL.) Yet that 2006 won their first-round series against the Twins.
I still don't think this A's team is going to finish on the top of anything, but I don't think it's the poor hitting that will do them in, especially since I think some of the bats will come around, power-wise, in particular Daric Barton, Bobby Crosby, Jack Cust, and Frank Thomas. I'm not saying the hitting will be good; I just don't think it has to be good in order for them to win. Instead, I think the pitching will eventually fall off: Dana Eveland seems to be pitching over his head, and Sandy Casilla and Andrew Brown have to come back to earth at some point, right? Will Greg Smith finish with a 2.54 ERA? I don't have much confidence that he will.