Oakland bats leaving team in a hole

Updated: June 9, 2003, 8:10 AM ET
By Jim Baker
Gary Peterson sums up the A's predicament pretty succinctly when he writes in today's Contra Costa Times that it's going to take another one of their patented second-half pushes to catch the Mariners for the division crown. After dropping a doubleheader to the Phillies yesterday, the A's find themselves eight games out of first place.

Do they really need to go 72-29 the rest of the way (as they did last year and the year before) to win the division? No, but they're probably going to have to get close to that figure with the Mariners destroying teams on the road as they are. As Peterson writes, they have arrived at this point in the season in similar fashion in each of the last three years and then put it into high gear to make the postseason. With the Mariners channeling their 2001 selves and the other main wildcard contender coming from the loser of the Yankees-Red Sox spendfest, the A's have gotten themselves into their usual predicament: they're going to have to win more than two out of every three remaining game to get into the playoffs.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at bottlebat@gmail.com.