After watching Ryan Sweeney make an ill attempt at a soft-liner to right that went to the wall and scored 3 runs, I was a little frustrated (to put it mildly). I've looked for some reasons to be optimistic, and here's what I came up with!
Note the following stats are off AAA pitching in a hitter-friendly league -
Here are the current stats of some of our best AAA players averaged out over 150 games:
Anthony Recker - 150 games - .302 AVG 27 HR
Jai Miller - 150 games - .296 AVG 48 HR
Mike Taylor - 150 games - .281 AVG 27 HR
Chris Carter - 150 games - .272 AVG 32 HR
Brandon Allen - 150 games - .306 AVG 33 HR
If just 2 of these 5 guys pan out next year, that'd be HUUUUUGE!
Also, on August 1st 2002, the A's were 5 games out of first place behind the Mariners. By the end of the season, they were 10 games AHEAD of the Mariners. In other words, they made up *15 games* from August to October. Our boys are current 12 games out, so at least it's still possible. (Small note, the 2002 A's did have a 20-game win streak in August ;)