Reveille 7/23/12

by Jason Epstein

Good morning!

Here are several go-to links to make your Monday a bit more bearable:

Keep playing great infield defense. The A’s this season have allowed a .210 batting average on balls in play on grounders, while the AL as a whole has allowed a .234 mark. As well, the A’s lead the majors in double-place percentage. Maybe getting Cliff Pennington back from injury is more critical than you might think, given his lackluster offensive numbers? The safe assumption is that the Oakland infield defense is at its critical best when Pennington, Jemile Weeks and Brandon Inge are working together. . . .

Keep being stingy with home runs. In 2012, no pitching staff has done a better job of keeping the ball in the park. Despite giving up a fairly high percentage of fly balls, Oakland has allowed the fewest round-trippers in the AL. They also boast the lowest HR/fly-ball percentage in all of baseball. There may be some luck baked into those numbers, but there’s also some native skill. That needs to continue. . . .

Survive a tough remaining schedule. The bad news for the A’s is that they have a pretty challenging docket of games ahead of them. They’ll play the majority of their remaining games on the road, and the average winning percentage of their remaining opponents is .518. Of the 69 games left on the schedule, 50 come against teams with winning records, and seven more come against the not-half-bad Blue Jays. On the bright side, the A’s this season are 31–26 against teams with a .500 record or better.

That’s it. Have a walk-off week!

Right Field

Brief chronicles of our sporting times.