What might the A’s possibly have in store for Wednesday?
It’s anyone’s guess after the two games they’ve turned in so far against the White Sox. Monday’s series opener brought a 14-inning contest in which Oakland erased a four-run deficit in the ninth.
On Tuesday, the A’s busted out for a 17-6 victory that featured 19 hits. Let’s have some fun with the numbers from a game that represented the A’s highest-scoring output of the season …
25 – The number of hitters the A’s sent to the plate combined as they batted around in the first and fourth innings. By the time the White Sox recorded the third out in the top of the fourth, it was a 16-2 game. A’s right-hander Aaron Brooks didn’t have the prettiest pitching line in this one – six innings, six runs, 10 hits allowed – but it was commendable the way he kept his focus even while sitting through his team’s fourth-inning rally that featured 10 runs and 15 men going to the plate.
12 – Number of runs the A’s scored while being swept in three games by Chicago at the Coliseum in May. They nearly bested that series total in the fourth inning alone Tuesday.
98 – Career RBI for Billy Butler versus the White Sox, his most against any team. He drove in three runs Tuesday as part of that total. But the more pertinent numbers are the ones Butler has posted over the past two weeks or so. He’s hitting .396 (21-for-53) with seven multi-hit games in his last 15 contests.
Given the struggles he’s endured, it’s got to feel good when he’s a major contributor in a victory that featured so many of his teammates doing damage too. As his swings have gotten better recently, his luck even seems to have swung a bit. Butler’s chopper in the first inning looked like it might be an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play off the bat. Instead it got through to center field for a two-run single.
6 – Runs scored by Marcus Semien and Josh Phegley against their former team Tuesday. Both were acquired by the A’s in the Jeff Samardzija trade during the winter meetings last December. Semien’s season-ending numbers won’t make your jaw drop – he’s currently at .253 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI. Yet despite that, it’s easy to recognize the offensive upside that originally caught the A’s eyes. He showed impressive opposite-field power on his sixth-inning homer off Sox reliever Nate Jones. The A’s can’t be disappointed in the production they’ve gotten from Phegley in a mostly part-time role.
10 – Number of earned runs allowed by Samardzija on Tuesday, a career high. It’s been a tough overall season for Samardzija, a Midwest native who was looking forward to joining the White Sox. His ERA spiked to 5.27 following Tuesday’s outing. His struggles are a microcosm of what’s gone wrong for the underachieving White Sox as a whole.
73 - Josh Reddick’s team-leading RBI total for the A’s. With 17 games left, he’s got a legitimate chance to eclipse his career high of 85 from 2012. Interesting to note – the A’s haven’t had an RBI leader fail to crack the 80-mark since 2010, when Kevin Kouzmanoff and Kurt Suzuki both notched 71.
4:20 - The average time of game over the first two matchups of this four-game series between the A’s and White Sox. These teams have to be capable of a pitcher’s duel at some point, right?