Tonight marked the halfway point for the Oakland A's season and after 81 games the offense still has not awakened from its slumber. The A's were shutout for the ninth time this season with Ricky Nolasco earning his second career shutout. Even worse has been the last seven games where the A's have scored a total of nine runs, have gone 5-45 with runners in scoring position and have been shutout twice.
Something needs to change for the A's and it starts with firing Gerald Perry who has done a horrific job in his second stint as hitting coach with the team. Perry's the equivalent of Mike Singletary hiring Jimmy Raye to become the offensive coordiantor for the San Francisco 49ers.
Here's comparisons from this time last year to this year for each A's hitter who has been in the lineup in 40 or more games in each of those years:
2010 BA2011 BA
Andy LaRoche .229 .247
Cliff Pennington.248 .240
Conor Jackson.245 .262
Daric Barton.282 .212
David Dejesus .331 .220
Hideki Matsui.259 .219
Josh Willingham.273 .231
Kevin Kouzmanoff.276 .221
Kurt Suzuki.263 .217
Mark Ellis.285 .217
Ryan Sweeney.294 .279
While the A's offense wasn't going to be the team's strength 11 out of 13 hitters are hitting significantly lower than they were in 2010. The two hitters that have improved their average are platoon players and one of course was sent to Sacramento in addition to two more hitters who were sent down as well. A third hitter for the A's appears to be heading that direction as well in Suzuki. After tonight's game Suzuki for the month of June is hitting .136!
Billy Beane has never been the one to make coaching changes during the season, yet he has already done it once with the firing of Bob Geren. With the A's being shutout once every nine games, something needs to happen to light a spark and it appears firing Perry would be in the A's best interest.
On the season the A's offense is batting a measly .234 and it's not a wonder that the A's have been finding it difficult to score runs. If the Marlins were able to make John Mallee a scapegoat for the team's disasterous month of June, the A's can easily make that same decision with Perry.
When looking at averages for players who would qualify for the leaders, Coco Crisp is the A's best hitter with a .268 average. The only saving grace for the A's lack of offense has been the pitching and that's even with a majority of the pitchers on the disabled list, but the lack of offense did show when the pitching struggled for 14 games and in that span the A's had a 10 game losing streak and went 1-13 in those 14 games.
Geren was also fired during that stretch and Bob Melvin took his place. The A's went from hovering near the .500 mark to nine games below. Yet, after Melvin was hired the A's showed signs of life with a six game winning streak, since then have come back down to earth, but the pitching has been phenomenal since Melvin has taken over, the only thing that continues to disappoint is the offense.
Beane needs to do what he did with Geren and that is fire Perry and hope that sparks the A's offense.