New acquisitions Josh Willingham and David DeJesus were expected to carry the offense into "averageishness", and with the A's fantastic pitching, things were looking bright before the season. And yet, before the All-Star break, the A's offense ranked near the bottom at almost every single offensive category. Willingham and DeJesus were in the middle of the worst seasons of their lives, and the offense was, on the whole, far worse than last year's squad.
So what the hell is going on now? Since the All-Star break, the A's have gone on an amazing tear. They've smacked at least eight hits every game since the break, and they've faced tough teams like LAA, NYY, and TB. Craziest of all, the team that averaged 3.8 runs per game on the season has now averaged 6.1 runs per game since the break. They've gone bonkers, and it doesn't make any sense.
In fact, this two week stretch has done wonders for season statlines. Josh Willingham was having a horrible season by his standards. Now? His season wRC+ of 122 is exactly the same as his career mark, and it's up there with Daric Barton and Jack Cust as one of the best full-time seasons by an A's batter in recent past. And Willingham isn't the only one. The A's now have eight (no seriously, eight!) batters that are hitting at a clip that's better than league average over the whole season, and aside from Ryan Sweeney and Eric Sogard, the rest are all current starters. In July, Josh Willingham and Hideki Matsui were the sixth and seventh most productive batters in all of the majors.
So what gives? What have you noticed about these new A's? Any insights at all as to how this is happening? Obviously, bad teams can hit well for a short stretch, but is this possibly anything more?