There’s not a whole lot to cheer about up in McAfee Coliseum this year. In fact, one of the only things to excite the fans is the knowledge that in a few years they’ll be watching baseball being played in an actual baseball stadium. So there’s not a whole lot of reasons for the fans to show up during this final excruciating week of baseball. At least, there wasn’t until Jack Cust provided it.
With a pair of strikeouts in last night’s win over the Mariners, Cust claimed the title of the most strikeout-happiest hitter in the American League. His 187 Ks this season - he’s playing another game right now but has not yet struck out - leaves him alone at numero uno for the DH League.
And to give the fans a reason to come out to the ballpark until the final game of the year, Cust left just enough strikeouts (12) before he can claim the all-time record as his own.
YAHOO! SPORTS has some fun facts:
The designated hitter struck out for the 187th time this season in Friday’s 2-0 win over Seattle, breaking the AL record previously set by Milwaukee’s Rob Deer in 1987.
With eight games remaining on the A’s schedule, Cust could challenge the major league record, which was established last season by Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard, who fanned 199 times.
Cust also leads the American League with 101 walks entering Saturday which means he has either walked or strikeout in more than half of his 559 plate appearances this year.
“His whole career, he’s had a lot of walks, a lot of strikeouts, a lot of homers,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “It’s just part of who he is as a hitter, it’s not a big deal. He can strikeout and then go up and hit a homer to win the game. I feel good every time he’s up there.”
Here’s another fun fact: As a fantasy baseball owner, he’s extremely frustrating to own!
But the big question is, will Cust reach the record? So far, he’s averaging 1.34 strikeouts per game, and if you take out today’s game, the team has another 7 games left on the schedule. Doing some very basic arithmetic means he should get another 9 Ks, leaving him just 2 short of the record.
Unless, of course, you GREAT OAKLAND FANS go out there and CHEER HIM ON! Show him that you’re on his side. Pick him up emotionally whenever he’s upset with himself for actually making contact with the ball. Become that all-important 10th man in the lineup, but in this case, the 10th man is actually a 2nd pitcher for the opposition.
C’mon, blue collar folk! Do it for The Whiffmaster! Don’t let the opportunity to be part of history pass you by!