The Disastrous Road Trip That Could’ve Been Worse and What’s Next
By Sean Davis
With the 6-1 loss this afternoon at the hands of the Seattle Mariners, the A’s ended a 3-7 road trip. It started off quite well in the Bronx when the A’s essentially won the first game against the Yankees on the first pitch from CC Sabathia to Adam Rosales that was deposited in the left field bleachers. The A’s would take two of three from the Yankees in that hard fought series.
This road trip will forever be defined by the home run that never was… according to Angel Hernandez (USA TODAY Sports)
The four game series versus the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field was every bit as awful as the box scores would indicate, and in one case even more so. That series of course featured the brutally missed call on the should-have-been home run by Adam Rosales in the 9th inning with 2 outs, and the Athletics down by a run. They would never tie that game in the minds of the umpires, and in the record books. Being swept by the Indians is always a bad thing, and the A’s dominated the season series 8-2 in 2012, although this season’s edition of the Tribe is a talented one.
Theoretically returning to the west coast, and playing within the AL West would have been just what the A’s needed to get their season back on track. It didn’t work out that way as Hisashi Iwakuma completely neutralized the Athletics offense, and Dan Straily was unable to keep the Mariners within the confines of the newly smaller Safeco Field dimensions. They did manage to cling to victory in the second game, but the Mariners had every opportunity to take the lead from the A’s. Today, Tommy Milone simply wasn’t at his best and the Mariners took advantage as they cruised to the easy victory.
So the rough road trip has put the A’s under .500 at 19-20 as they head home for their first meeting of 2013 with the Texas Rangers. It could have been worse though, the 3 wins they did manage to get were nailbiters. The first win versus the Yankees was the most comfortable of the 3, with a 2-0 margin. The second win in New York came with the potential tying run at second base, Grant Balfour escaped the revolt by the Bombers though. The same can be said for the victory in Seattle, the tying and winning runs were on base and a well placed double could have ended the game off the bat of Kyle Seager.
While I’m not attempting to kick the A’s while they’re down, this 3-7 road trip could have easily been 1-9 or heaven forbid 0-10. But it wasn’t, so we should take comfort in that fact. With the hopeful returns of Coco Crisp, Chris Young, and Brett Anderson in the coming week the chances of the A’s getting back to where they need to be will undoubtedly increase. So while things look bleak, they could be much worse, and fans shall not lose hope with this team. There are many positives on this team, Jed Lowrie, Josh Donaldson, and Brandon Moss are all having strong seasons thus far. Lowrie and Donaldson could very well warrant All Star consideration if their production keeps up.
Keep the faith people, the A’s will weather this storm and get the season pointed in the direction we all expected it to be.