It has been a strange season for the Oakland A’s. They had begun the season playing reasonably well, their 10-9 record after 19 games far better than anyone could have expected. Despite the fire sale, the A’s had displayed a grittiness and tenacity that made them an interesting team to watch.
Then the past couple of weeks happened. The A’s lost nine in a row heading into their series with Detroit, looking like the team they were expected to be at the start of the season. That changed over the past few days as Oakland then took four of five from the Tigers, showing signs that their slump is a thing of the past.
Oakland A’s hoping to build off of Tigers’ series
However, it is fair to wonder how much of this recent success can be sustained. The Tigers are not even close to a good team, ranking last in the AL in runs and slugging. Their 9-23 record is just one game better than the Reds, who had lost 20 out of 21 games earlier this season. It is not as though the A’s ambushed the Yankees or Blue Jays here.
But there is something to be said for confidence. That was clear on Thursday when the A’s were able to retake the lead after Detroit tied the game at 3-3. Success does breed success after all, and the A’s have momentum now.
They are also about to face their biggest litmus test of the season thus far. The A’s have seven games against the Angels in their next ten contests, sandwiching a series with the AL Central leading Twins. This will give the A’s a true sense of where they stand in MLB’s pecking order.
At this point, being able to split those ten games would be an accomplishment. They did manage a split to start the season despite facing the Phillies, Rays, and Blue Jays, providing hope for the season. However, as those games were after an abbreviated spring training due to the lockout, and the A’s subsequent play, that strong start seems to have been more of a byproduct of timing than skill level.
The Oakland A’s took four out of five games against the Tigers. They are hoping that momentum will carry over into their upcoming litmus test.