The Pioneer

Athletics season hits halfway point

Oakland Athletics Khris Davis celebrates as the crosses home after hitting a three-run home run in the 10th inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. The A's won 13-10.

AP

Oakland Athletics Khris Davis celebrates as the crosses home after hitting a three-run home run in the 10th inning of the team's baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Tuesday, July 24, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. The A's won 13-10.

Matthew Carrera,
Contributor

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Baseball season has reached its halfway point and the Oakland Athletics should feel good about where they stand. They have had an interesting first half with several storylines, most importantly ending it by winning 17 of their last 22 games and now are 10 games above .500.

This first half of the season was full of headlines for the A’s. Pitcher Sean Manaea threw the league’s first no-hitter of the season against the Boston Red Sox on April 21. Stephen Piscotty hit a homerun in his first at bat after he returned from the bereavement list due to his mother passing away from ALS.

The Athletics made some noise recently and now have an impressive 51-41 overall record, which puts them in third place in the American League West. They are only six games back from grabbing a wild card spot in the playoffs. The A’s are on pace to make the postseason for the first time since 2014.

Despite a rocky start, the A’s pitching has gotten the job done thanks to some unknown names. Manaea came out of nowhere and has been strong for Oakland with a 8-6 record and a 3.44 earned run average (ERA). Lou Trivino made his major league debut on April 17 and since then he is 7-1 with a 1.34 ERA, according to ESPN.

The most impressive performer this season has been relief pitcher Blake Treinen. He has been dominant this season and he leads all American League relievers with a 0.81 ERA. He has 22 saves so far and that ranks fourth in the entire league. This was good enough to get Treinen a spot on the All Star team this season.

If the Athletics pitchers can keep this up, then they should be poised to challenge for the second wild card spot in the American League that is currently held by the Seattle Mariners.

The offense has also been strong for Oakland. The A’s are fourth in home runs with 123. Khris Davis leads the team with 21, Matt Olson is second with 19 and 34-year-old Jed Lowrie is third with 16, according to ESPN. Lowrie is having one of his best seasons of his 11-year career and was announced as a reserve on the American League team, which will be the first appearance of his career.

“You can’t sleep on our offense, we can vaporize a lead real quick,” Piscotty told A’s media.

With the trade deadline coming up, the A’s should be looking to target some key free agents and be aggressive. They should try and acquire some more quality pitchers to helps secure the bullpen. A’s management should take advantage of the great season so far and go all-in and try to push for a playoff spot.

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