Limping Home

As beat writer Joe Stiglich put it in Monday’s recap, the A’s encouraging season took a wrong turn during their just completed road trip to Texas, Cleveland and Atlanta.  Two wins in nine games isn’t gonna get you much.

Ordinarily, I’d say, “Don’t panic, a visit by the Rays will solve everything.” But these aren’t your children’s Rays, so another tough series awaits. A tough six weeks awaits, too. Figures to be a defining point of the season.

Anyway, before the A’s embark upon it, here are some observations.

— Happy to see that manager Bob Geren finally got catcher Kurt Suzuki out of the leadoff hole and got him some rest. The A’s were threatening to run Suzuki into the ground, and may have done exactly that. He’s hitting .196 since April 8. Young hitters must be given time to break through slumps, but they also must not get their confidence destroyed. Very fine line there. Do you think Geren has done a good job walking it?

— Emil Brown has gone an entire week without an RBI, not that it has hurt him that much on the AL RBI leaderboard. Still, Brown’s slump has effectively rendered the A’s offense comatose, so the sooner he heats up — if indeed, he will — the sooner the A’s will start scoring runs again.

— Frank Thomas: Zero home runs in 79 plate appearances as an Athletic. If he’s not going yard regularly, how exactly does he help?

Anyway, let me know what you think. I’ll take selected comments and run them in the Sunday Baseball Package.