As the A’s disperse all over the country for the All-Star break, here’s a bit of fodder to consider:
At 43-43, they have their best record at the All-Star break since 2008, when they sat at 51-44. They were in second place at the time, six games off the pace in the division. But they quickly crashed after the break, losing 17 of their first 19.
The A’s are in third place right now. Getting off to a good start out of the break is obviously a key for them to A) maintain any hope of staying in contention, both in the A.L. West and in the wild card race, and B) convince the front office not to become sellers at the July 31 trade deadline. The A’s come out of this year’s break with a three-game series at Minnesota, the current A.L. Central cellar dwellers. The rest of July presents a challenge with series against the Rangers, Yankees, Blue Jays, Orioles and Rays.
“We’ve been playing pretty good,” A’s shortstop Cliff Pennington said. “Most of the time you don’t want a break when you’ve been playing good. But going into the break at .500, it gives us a chance in the second half to make some noise.”
Here’s a look at where the A’s have stood at the All-Star break in recent seasons and how they finished up:
2011: 39-53, 4th place (finished 74-88)
2010: 43-46, 3rd (finished 81-81)
2009: 37-49, 4th (finished 75-87)
2008: 51-44, 2nd (finished 75-86)
2007: 44-44, 3rd (finished 76-86)
–I’m looking forward to covering this team in the second half based on how they finished up the first.
That’s all for now …