The Oakland Athletics secured their first series victory since late May as they took two of three from the struggling Kansas City Royals. The A’s last series win came at home May 27-29 when they swept the last place Baltimore Orioles. Although two wins is a good thing for the A’s, one has to wonder if we can take much away from it given the quality of competition.
The one definite positive that came out of this series was that Jemile Weeks kept up his solid start at the big league level. Mark Ellis is scheduled to head to Sacramento on Saturday to begin a rehab stint before he is eligible to come off the disabled list on June 22. That gives Weeks at least four more games to continue his strong start. In 32 at bats over 9 games, Weeks has settled into the ninth spot, hitting .344/.364/.594. As I’ve said time and again this past week, if Weeks continues at anything resembling his current pace he’ll leave the A’s with a difficult decision. Of course, if he continues at this pace, maybe the decision isn’t all that difficult.
Outside of Weeks, one has to wonder if Hideki Matsui might be emerging with the summer. Godzilla is still only hitting .220, but in the seven games since Bob Melvin became manager, Matsui has hit three home runs, doubling his season total. He’s 7-for-23 (.304) during that time and just might finally be emerging from the shadows. If he can keep it up, the A’s might finally have one more solid bat on a consistent basis.
Over the last week since Melvin took over, Scott Sizemore and Cliff Pennington have performed quite well. While it is a small sample size, I’d say it’s worth being at least a little optimistic. Sizemore is the real revelation thus far as he is hitting .417 (10-for-24) in eight games since being acquired by the A’s and called up from Sacramento. Third base has been a black hole for the Athletics so any positive contributions are encouraging. Sizemore has impressed Melvin enough to earn a temporary ticket into the sixth spot in the lineup.
None of these performances is wildly overwhelming (well, maybe Weeks), but together they are providing some positive signs for an A’s offense that has been abysmal thus far. As the A’s starting pitching starts to get healthy, having a legitimate major league offense could finally get this team meeting the potential it thought it had entering the season.
And if the Giants sweep the A’s this weekend, feel free to throw garbage at me when I walk by in the streets.