Oakland Athletics: Seven Things Fans Have Learned in 2015

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Aug 5, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Kendall Graveman (31) hands the ball to manager Bob Melvin (6) after being removed from the game during the sixth inning at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics have had a rough season.

A dismal record and no chance at the playoffs has everyone on edge, from the front office to the fan base. Even the most diehard fans are wondering what the organization did with their beloved team from last year.

It’s certainly been a disappointing time to be an A’s fan, but after struggling through the first four months of the season, what lessons have been learned? As it turns out, there have been plenty:

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Lesson One: The Importance of a Good Bullpen

If there’s an Oakland Athletics’ fan who still believes this bullpen can pick up the pieces and salvage its collective ERA, they may be delusional. This bullpen is bad. It’s really, horrifically, unimaginably bad – especially when considering the expectations on the team’s relievers heading into the season. It’s been discussed repeatedly, from the insanity of using the same relievers over and over, to Wednesday’s crushing tenth inning loss against the Orioles, and even the trades of Eric O’Flaherty and Ryan Cook.

Rookies R.J. Alvarez and Arnold Leon are sporting 12.54 and 6.75 ERAs, respectively. Evan Scribner has a 3.83 ERA, despite striking out 53 batters in 49.1 innings. Sean Doolittle has spent the season on the disabled list, and switch-pitcher Pat Venditte has missed time with an injury after being called up and throwing just 5.2 innings of work.

Related: Why the Oakland Athletics Need Pat Venditte

While Drew Pomeranz and Fernando Abad have shown signs of coming around lately, they certainly got off to rough starts of their own. Pomeranz’s poor numbers are mostly a reflection of his time as a starter, but Abad’s 3.13 ERA is due to a terrible month of May. The lefty has had a 1.88 ERA over his last 30 games, but he’s still chipping away at the 4.50 ERA he compiled before the break.

In fact, Tyler Clippard was the only one who performed to expectations. Yet even he endures some struggles of his own, as we learned that…

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