Are The Oakland A’s Really This Bad?
The Oakland Athletics are 12-46, and the furthest team from first place of any of the other five teams that house the bottom of the standings in their respective divisions. At 24.5 games behind the first place Texas Rangers, the A’s are also a good 18 games behind the fourth place Los Angeles Angels. The crazier part is that all the other four teams in the AL West division are all playing above .500 ball.
The A’s started the 2023 season with a 2-1 victory over the Angels, but then it went down hill very quick from that point. They would lose their first 10 series’ of the season, before finally winning one against the Kansas City Royals, winning two of of three games. The break from losing did not last too long, as the very next series, they were swept by the New York Yankees in three games, which started another landslide as they lost the next five straight series’. In that time frame, they lost 11 straight games, and with what seemed to be the worst month in franchise history, Oakland actually finished on a high note, by taking two out of three from the NL East Division leading Atlanta Braves.
After the first victory of the season on March 30th, the A’s finished the month of April at 5-24, and then May at 6-23, which looks like a team in the right direction, even though its just a one game swing. But anything positive is needed now in Oakland.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Oakland A’spic.twitter.com/nwCNJkiq1v
— APOLLO MEDIA (@ApolloHOU) May 27, 2023
The ironic thing is that the organization announced on May 12th, that they plan on leaving Oakland for a 1.5 billion dollar ball park on the Las Vegas Strip and right on que, the A’s responded with a dramatic come back victory, with four runs in the bottom of the 9th, to shock the Texas Rangers 9-7. The dramatics lasted for one night, until they pulled off another comeback walk off on May 16th, against the Arizona D-Backs.
The team has not been able to feed off any momentum from their dramatic wins, as losing comes right after, but with wins on May 29th and 30th, maybe, just maybe, the tide is turning.
The oldest players on the roster are Trevor May and Austin Pruitt at 34 years old, and the youngest players are Luis Medina and Esteury Ruiz at 24 years old. Even with some good talent on the squad, so far they have not been able to put together a team on the field that can sustain success.
Looking at their offense, Ruiz qualifies for the highest team batting average at just .260, and Brent Rooker, who has bounced around with a few clubs since he made his MLB debut in 2020, has the highest home runs (11), and RBIs (32).
As for the pitching, starter JP Sears has had a better month of May, then he did in April, as he has managed to keep his team in the games, allowing just two runs or less in six of his five starts in the month. Other starters, Kyle Muller, Ken Waldichuk, and James Kaprielian have not had much success so far in 2023. As for Japanese import Shintaro Fujinami, he was regulated to the bullpen, after just four starts and his ERA rising to 14.40. Since, he has won two games in relief, showing some signs of being able to get the outs and keep runs off the scoreboard.
Recently the A’s have had successful seasons from 2018-2021, before dropping 102 games in 2022, but it hasn’t been this bad since the 1979 season, when they lost 108 games. That season, they were 18-34 on June 2, and possibly looking better than the 2023 squad.
THE OAKLAND A’S HAVE WON A SERIES
VS THE ATLANTA BRAVES pic.twitter.com/6qMgG79Mpi
— Barstool Baseball (@StoolBaseball) May 31, 2023
But anything is possible and they are way over due for a win streak to turn the mediocre season into more than just bad games. Maybe winning the series against the Braves, was a turning point for a team just looking for anything to stop the ship from sinking even deeper.
A new month starts on Friday night in Miami, and with the Marlins struggling to stay above .500 in the NL East, now may be the time to take advantage of other teams for a change.
With the organization looking to bail on the city of Oakland, now is the time for the players to show they have a fight still left in them. The next three games in Miami will show what the A’s have left, and hopefully it’s winning baseball.