Bob Melvin Trying not to be Too Concerned About Athletics' Problematic Offense

John Hickey

As their first game in the American League wild card next Tuesday draws near, the A’s have to be getting a little concerned about their offense.

More specifically, about their lack of offense. In the second game of a doubleheader in Seattle a week ago Monday, the A’s had 11 hits, including a couple of homers, and scored nine times in a 9-0 win over the Mariners. They walked five times and struck out just twice. Along the way, the club’s batting average crept up to .230.

In the six games since, heading into Wednesday, the A’s haven’t hit a lick. Six games played, and in none of them has Oakland gotten more than six hits. They’ve drawn 18 walks, three per game, but struck out 41 times, just shy of seven per game.

The pitching has been good, so the A’s are 3-3 in that stretch and on Monday sewed up the American League West title on a day off when Seattle beat second-place Houston.

But the pitching can’t do it alone. The A’s haven’t hit all year – the .230 batting average of Sept. 14 was the season high. Oakland’s average since then is .182, bringing the A’s overall mark down to .224. 26th in the 30-team Major Leagues.

Manager Bob Melvin has kind of gotten used to this. Melvin, who gave first baseman Matt Olson a day off Wednesday and found a start for Khris Davis, has seen the offense meander, but come up big at some of the season’s biggest moments.

“If you look at overall offensively, we’ve been spotty all year,” Melvin said Wednesday in a video conference call. “We’ve had some periods where we’ve swung the bats well, and we’ve had some periods when we haven’t.

“It’s just something you have to deal with and hope that it picks up along the way.”

The A’s have six more games in the regular season to get things going. If they don’t, the all-time franchise record for poorest team batting average, .223, is well within grasp. (The Oakland record for lowest team batting average is .238, set in 1982, is almost certain to fall.)

“And you have the urgency of maybe a few games before, and then when you get to the postseason, it’s a different feeling. I’m not going to liken it to spring training before opening day, but you know we’ve had our issues offensive at times all year.

“And we’ve found ways to win games.”

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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