The pitchers have done their job; they rank in the top three in the league in earned run average. They are the reason the A’s have 71 wins and are in postseason contention.
The hitters, on the other hand, are 12th in batting average, ninth in runs scored and home runs, and seventh in on-base percentage. With the exception of third baseman Josh Donaldson and middle infielder Jed Lowrie, the numbers have been disappointing all the way around.
Particularly troublesome is the club’s performance with runners in scoring position. With men at third base, the team average is just .221; the league average is .267. With runners at second base, the A’s are hitting .250, about the league norm, but they haven’t hit at that pace lately.
- John Hickey, Bay Area News Group
By bringing in the 33-year-old Wallace as yet another potential backup, the team and Harbaugh continued their summer camp theme of practically screaming to the world that if Kaepernick gets hurt, the 49ers are doomed.
Now, it’s fine if the rest of us believe that. But the 49er players can’t be permitted to believe that. Otherwise, if Kaepernick does indeed suffer an injury and be sidelined for a fee games or even longer, it would provide a ready-made excuse to shrug off a defeat or let intensity slip a bit. And in the NFL, if the intensity slips an inch, it’s the same as it slipping a mile. (Or a kilometer, if you are reading this online in Europe.) The margin between winning and losing is too thin.
- Mark Purdy, San Jose Mercury News
While the program is clearly in tough shape, it would be inaccurate to portray this roster as talentless. There are about 1,900 players in the league, and some of the good ones do don Silver and Black.
There is promise. In addition to the above-mentioned players, Oakland building blocks include center Stefen Wisniewski, young receivers Rod Streater and Denarius Moore, safety Tyvon Branch, cornerback D.J. Hayden, offensive tackle Menelik Watson and linebacker Sio Moore.
The cupboard is not bare. But the truth is there are few established stars currently playing in Oakland. McKenzie knows it is his job to develop them.
- Bill Williamson, ESPN