Since so many of these A’s losses are beginning to look the same, here’s a change of direction for the postgame analysis, as we take a by-the-numbers look at what’s going on with this team right now. It took some work, but we actually found a few positive stats to offset the wreckage of the A’s 1-5 road trip to date …
5.47 -- The season ERA for the A’s starting rotation, last in the American League. Yes, you could point to the 5.10 mark for the overall staff that also brings up the rear in the AL. But it’s the rotation that’s largely been the foundation of all that’s gone right for this team in the good times. Even during last year’s 68-94 campaign, the A’s starters ranked third in the league with a 3.91 ERA. The starters simply have to find a way to keep this team in ballgames and find a way to take advantage of the strong late-inning relief corps.
17 -- The number of hits for Yonder Alonso over his last 18 games. Compare that to an awful start in which he had six hits over his first 15 games. Alonso is still batting just .219, but he’s driving the ball more and combining with Marcus Semien to provide a bit of a spark in the bottom third of the batting order. His RBI double in the second inning gave the A’s a short-lived lead in Wednesday’s 13-3 loss to the Red Sox.
[INSTANT REPLAY: A's swept in Boston, allow 40 runs in series]
13 -- The number of RBI for Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., during the three-game series against Oakland. How impressive is that? Those 13 RBI would rank fifth among A’s leaders for the entire season.
26 1/3 -- The number of innings logged by the bullpen through six games on this road trip. That’s just under 4 ½ innings per game, and it’s a sign of how atrociously the rotation has performed. It’s tough for relievers to settle into a comfortable daily routine when so many of them are being called upon so early in games. Surely the bullpen can’t be absolved of all blame – its carrying a 9.79 ERA over the past seven games. But there are several unproven guys being thrust into tough situations simply because the A’s need fresh arms.
.591 -- The batting average for Josh Reddick on this road trip (13-for-22). Don’t start wringing your hands yet over when (or if) he’s going to be traded. Just enjoy the best thing the A’s have got going right now.
46 -- The number of home runs A’s pitchers have served up this season through 35 games. Compare that to last season, when they had surrendered just 29 through the same number of games. You want to take home a baseball as a souvenir from an A’s game? Don’t splurge on tickets anywhere behind home plate or the dugouts. Head for the bleachers!
11 -- The number of days since closer Ryan Madson got his last save opportunity. It’s getting hard to find meaningful situations in which to utilize Madson. He’s appeared in just two games in May, and the A’s don’t want Madson getting rusty or losing his competitive edge given how good he’s been so far.
11.06 -- Number of strikeouts Rich Hill is averaging per nine innings over his past six starts. The 36-year-old has been even better than the A’s could have hoped for to this point. He takes the ball in Friday’s series opener at Tampa Bay, so that’s at least a reason for optimism as the A’s try to erase their three-day Fenway Park nightmare. With the way things have gone, if Hill is still in the game by the fifth inning, it's party time in the dugout.