Thursday, September 27, 2012

K's for the A's

The Oakland A's are just plain weird. Weird in a cool, not-like-everybody else way.

The team of no-names is on the verge of making the playoffs, probably as a wild card team but possibly as AL West champs. The A's are succeeding despite injuries, suspensions, offensive ineptitude, name it.

I wrote hopefully earlier in the season about their pursuit of the all-time lowest team batting average. Since then, the A's have cranked up their offense and will not become the worst-hitting team in baseball history. However, their .237 team batting average is almost 20 points below the AL average, and leads only woeful Seattle in the league standings.

Yet we can still celebrate a record for the 2012 A's. When Chris Carter struck out against the Rangers last night, the A's broke the all-time American League record for strikeouts in a season, and kept on fanning. As of this writing, they've made the U-turn to the dugout 1333 times this year (although someone might have taken a called third while I was writing that last sentence).

It's probably too much to ask for the A's to break the all-time MLB record for strikeouts in a season. The 2010 Arizona Diamondbacks fanned 1529 times, a remarkable 9.43 whiffs per game. Of course, the D-backs employed the King of K, Mark Reynolds, who struck out 211 times that year. He was aided and abetted by Adam LaRoche (172) and Justin Upton (152).

The A's, in keeping with their "little engine that could" approach, don't have a true strikeout standout. Josh Reddick (137) and Yoenis Cespedes (100) are the team leaders, but in true A's fashion, everyone has chipped in here and there.

In order to catch the D-Backs, the A's would have to rack up 28 strikeouts a game over the final week of the season. Sure, it seems impossible, but everything about the 2012 A's seems a little impossible.

1 comment:

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