This is an early response, perhaps an overreaction, to the Oakland A’s first 4 losses of the season: The Astros glance greater than in a position to reclaim the American League West department identify from the A’s this 12 months.
Granted, the primary 4 video games of the season don’t even start to inform entire tale. However this opening collection didn’t paint the prettiest image for the A’s, who suffered their first four-games sweep on the Astros’ palms since June 2017. Culminating in a 9-2 loss on Easter Sunday, this was once simply the second one four-game loss to Houston in franchise historical past.
“We don’t be ok with it. Slightly bit embarrassing,” supervisor Bob Melvin stated. “We performed truly poorly and so they performed nice.”
And this 2021 A’s group is not any A’s 2017 group. This roster has been restocked and revitalized not to handiest contend for the postseason for a fourth-straight 12 months, however make a deep run that’s eluded the franchise for many years. Oakland isn’t off to the most productive get started towards a group additionally jockeying for a deep postseason run, and so they’re now not out of the clouds but because the protecting international champion Los Angeles Dodgers talk over with the Coliseum for 3 video games subsequent and the go back and forth to Houston for 3 extra away.
That is the primary time the A’s have misplaced greater than 3 immediately to start out the season since they went 0-5 in 1987. It’s the primary time the A’s were at the receiving finish of a four-game sweep since July 2017 towards the Blue Jays in Toronto.
That’s the scope of a disappointing begin to this complete season for the A’s, rife with upper expectancies. What’s going incorrect, precisely? The A’s aren’t executing on any entrance. Houston outscored the A’s 35-9 within the collection.
Sean Manaea had the beginning Sunday and pitched neatly. His breaking ball was once falling out of the zone and he was once running the outer part of the zone together with his low-90mph sinker. The Astros would possibly thrive off errors, however they don’t want an opposing pitcher to make one.
The Astros accrued 5 runs off Manaea. Kyle Tucker’s first-inning house run got here on a tight sinker. Jason Castro didn’t get all of an outdoor pitch, however hit it 101 mph off the bat for an reverse box two-run house run. Jose Altuve knocked a two-strike slider at his toes for a double that charged a three-run rally within the 3rd.
Manaea struck out 4 batters and walked 3 thru 4 2/3 innings whilst throwing 101 pitches. Houston wore him down, similar to they did each and every different A’s starter.
In the course of the first 4 video games, the A’s starters have a 7.65 ERA. And the bullpen hasn’t faired any higher, permitting 17 runs thru 16 innings mixed.
The A’s offense wasn’t ready to stay step with the Astros mighty offense in any capability. A five-run effort on Friday was once the one shiny spot for the A’s hitters this collection. They controlled to attain two runs on Sunday, and Mark Canha was once the center piece for each runs.
Canha doubled and scored on Jed Lowrie’s double within the first inning. He tripled and scored on Matt Olson’s out into the shift afterward.
The A’s have stated they’ve simply now not run into the “large hit”– a success that unchains the offense and relieves the force off key gamers to supply. Matt Chapman accrued his first hit of the season — a bloop unmarried — to make him 1-for-11 to start out the season with 4 walks. Up to now, Olson and Lowrie were the best on the plate. Olson is 4-for-14 — he need 0-for-4 on Sunday — and Lowrie is 3-for-11.
It’s secure to mention not anything is clicking for the A’s presently. Fortuitously, they’ve 158 video games left. This can be a group that’s seeking to shake the craze of having off to slow begins to the season — they’ve began gradual in each and every in their remaining contending years and been fueled by way of mid-summer flashes. It can be embarrassing for the A’s, however it’s not at all the top of the arena.