The Oakland A’s came off home series against Texas where the A’s with runners in scoring position managed to go for 0-30, but somehow were still able to take win two games of the three game series. 

At that point it looked like it was a turning point of the season for the A’s because they gained ground on the Texas Rangers in the American League West division race and had a chance with the Rangers having an off-day to even gain further ground. 

That didn’t happen for the A’s instead the A’s lost two games to the Seattle Mariners the worst team in the division and one of the worst teams in baseball. It was understandable the A’s wouldn’t sweep considering the team was facing Felix Hernandez in the second game of the series. 

Even then though the A’s had a chance to do some damage against Hernandez. In the first inning the A’s had runners on first and second with nobody out. Kurt Suzuki came up and got the A’s first hit with runners in scoring position. 

Only problem was Suzuki’s ball was hit so hard that Coco Crisp could not score from second base. Of course Hernandez then settled down retiring the next three hitters rather easily.

Regardless of that series there’s no better example of just how pathetic the A’s offense is then the first game of the series against the Minnesota Twins. The A’s had plenty of opportunities to score and yet only managed to score four runs. 

In fact the game started off well for the A’s with Crisp leading the game off with a single then stealing second on the first pitch to Daric Barton. Suzuki who’s been struggling mightily at the plate came up.

His main purpose at the plate should have been getting the runners over to second and third so the A’s would have two chances to get the run home. That means either hitting the ball to the right side or a sacrifice bunt. Suzuki has not been producing at the plate. 

Instead Suzuki wound up striking out, Jack Cust grounded out to first allowing the runners to get to second and third with two outs. Kevin Kouzmanoff grounded out to Alexei Casilla who made a nice play and threw in time to get Kouzmanoff. 

Two of the runs came in the top of the third inning when Cliff Pennington doubled, Crisp struckout but when Barton came up he stole third because Carl Pavano was not paying attention to him. Barton then lined a triple into the right field gap to score Pennington. 

Suzuki again came up with a chance to bring a runner home but wasn’t able to bring in Pennington and Cust  came through with an opposite field double bringing in Barton to tie the game up at 2-2. 

For the rest of the game the A’s had plenty of runners on base but were not able to cash in. The top of the seventh and eighth innings were the best chances for the A’s to do some damage.

In the seventh inning Crisp singled, Barton lined out to center, Suzuki singled to left field and was able to get to second while Crisp to third because Delmon Young was not able to catch the ball on a dive. 

Ron Mahay came in and relieved Pavano. Cust was pressing a little bit because he got the count to 3-1 and swung at ball four and ended up watching strike three. Kouzmanoff was robbed of a two run single by Casilla on a nice diving catch at shortstop. 

During the top of the eighth Mark Ellis hit an infield single, Rajai Davis hit a single, Chris Carter bounced into a fielders choice leaving runners on first and third with Davis being forced out at second. Cliff Pennington worked a walk. 

This meant that Crisp was up with the bases loaded and the infield playing back. The Twins in the game had already used the benefit of a suicide squeeze don’t understand why the A’s were going to utilize Crisp’s speed. 

Instead of at least getting a run in that situation, Crisp hits into the inning ending double play. 

In the top of the ninth inning the A’s managed to score a fluke run. Barton lined a ball to Denard Span for the first out of the inning, Kurt Suzuki doubled, Cust popped out to shortstop, Kouzmanoff hit a sharp grounder to Casilla who tried to make a backhanded play, but wasn’t able to do it which was scored an error and Suzuki also scored. 

Ellis hit a single leaving runners on first and second. Davis was up again and instead of taking any pitches he went after the first pitch and hit a flyball to left center to end the game. 

In all the A’s had 14 hits to the Twins five, but in the scoring department the Twins etched out four runs on those five hits and the A’s only managed three runs on those 14 hits.

Just further proof that in the offseason the A’s need drastic changes at the coaching level starting with Jim Skaalen and moving to Geren. It comes to a point in time when the players aren’t producing that a change must be made. 

It’s also not like the A’s don’t have any options to replace Geren, Don Wakamatsu a former A’s bench coach could be in line to replace Geren along with Tony Defrancesco the manager of the Sacramento Rivercats. 

For hitting coach Carney Lansford would make an excellent addition to the staff. He played over 1200 games for the A’s and knows how to hit in the coliseum and he can pass on that knowledge to the hitters. 

The other problem with Geren and Skaalen that the team went that preached patience at the plate to more of a small ball approach. Meaning manufacturing runs anyway possible whether it’s going from first to third on a single, stealing bases, and sacrificing. 

Obviously Geren and Skaalen have not bought into that system. There’s been other times where the situation dictated that the A’s should have been bunting and moving runners into scoring position instead Geren elected to have his hitters swing away. 

End results have been rally killing double play. Until the A’s get a manager and a hitting coach to buy into the small ball philosophy the A’s will continue to struggle offensively. 

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