Oakland A’s finally win a game without hitting a home run

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Robbie Grossman #8 after he hit a sacrifice fly that scored the winning run in the 10th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum on August 23, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 23: Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics is congratulated by Robbie Grossman #8 after he hit a sacrifice fly that scored the winning run in the 10th inning against the Los Angeles Angels at RingCentral Coliseum on August 23, 2020 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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The Oakland A’s have been very reliant upon hitting home runs as a part of their offense. For the first time in 2020, they earned a victory without hitting a homer.

Sunday was essentially another day for the Oakland A’s. They found themselves heading into extra innings for the fifth time this season. Once again, the A’s emerged victorious, with a Mark Canha sacrifice fly giving Oakland a 5-0 record in extra inning games.

With that victory, the A’s also became the first American League team to notch their 20th win on the season. With the Twins and Rays both winning on Sunday, this allowed Oakland to remain a game ahead for the number one overall seed in the postseason.

But something was missing. For just the sixth time in their 29 games, the A’s did not hit a home run. This was also the first time that did not matter, as they earned the victory in a game that they did not homer in for the first time this year.

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This feeds into one of the top critiques of the A’s offense. They have been extremely dependent on the longball this season when it comes to run production, as 70 of their 144 runs scored this season have come via the home run. As the A’s rank fourth in the AL in homers, and 13th in batting average, it is not a surprise that such a large percentage of their runs come on one swing of the bat.

The A’s have also done an impressive job at getting on base. Despite their low batting average, they rank first in the league in walks and are fourth in on base percentage. That combination, along with the home runs, have the A’s fourth in the league in runs scored as well.

But that does not change the narrative. Pitching is better in the postseason, leading to fewer home runs, and generally, fewer runs scoring. The A’s need to find another way to get runners home other than by putting the ball into the stands.

Next. Matt Olson's odd 2020 season. dark

Sunday was a good start for the Oakland A’s. Now let’s see if this can continue.

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