The M's Are Stuck in the Middle

Granted, the M's best power hitter, Russell Branyan (never thought I'd type those words), was given the day off at Oakland yesterday, but a gander at the batting averages for the middle of the team's order should tell you all you need to know about why the M's have struggled this year.

In the three hole, a spot typically reserved for a team's best all-around hitter, Adrian Beltre exited the game with the worst average (.211) among the woeful quartet featured here. Cleaning up was Ken Griffey Jr., followed by his usual platoon partner, Mike Sweeney -- both at .232. And batting sixth was Jose Lopez and his .221 batting average. Together, they combined to go 1-for-14 with zero RBIs. (Hence, Ichiro went 4-for-4 and failed to score.)

With numbers like these, I'd say the M's are actually lucky to be sitting at 21-25 right now.

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