It’s been a miraculous season for the A’s, as has been well-documented.
Tonight vs the Rangers, the day after Zack Greinke and the Angels’ bullpen struck out 20 Mariners in a 9-inning game, though, Oakland is poised to set an all-time record for the American League.
With their third strike out tonight, the A’s will claim the American League record for strikeouts in a season by a team.
The current high-water mark (or low-water mark, really) is 1,324 whiffs, set by the Rays in 2007. The 2012 A’s have currently struck out 1,322 times. It’s safe to say Oakland hitters will K two more times this season. For those curious, the all-time MLB Record is 1,527 strikeouts (by the 2010 Diamondbacks).
So what, if anything, does this dubious impending milestone mean in terms of the A’s season this year? They’re already battling for a Wild Card spot with one of the statistically worst offenses in the game. The strikeouts are probably more representative of their youth than anything else - this is a team that had eighteen (!) players dress up for rookie hazing last week.
CSN Bay Area summed up the situation well in an article this morning:
This season the A’s lead the majors in the strikeouts but does it really matter? They are having their best season since 2006. The all or nothing approach is something that has been working for them at the plate. The team has 99 home runs since the All-Star Break which ties them for the most in baseball. The team’s 182 long balls this season are tied for seventh in MLB, and the club is 73-37 when they hit a homer.
And hey, strikeouts are less damaging than GIDP’s, right?