Escape from New York

A year ago, the A’s opened the All-Star break by losing four straight in Minnesota. That was the continuation of a nine-game skid that set the table for a 32-42 second half.

Anybody else sensing deja vu following a three-game whipping at the hands of the Yankees this weekend? This one extended the A’s losing streak to five games, and now that they head to Tampa Bay — one of baseball’s best home teams — I can see this thing getting out of control.

Work committments limited me to seeing only a bit of Friday and a tad bit of today’s contests. But this is one of those series where the box scores speak volumes. The A’s, as their roster is constructed, simply can’t hit, at least not consistently. Ryan Sweeney was the only guy to collect an RBI (he had four) all weekend. Ridiculous.

Does anybody want to watch this lineup anymore? I mean, Jack Cust (1-for-9, eight strikeouts) is the lefty version of Richie Sexson. Donnie Murphy is one of the worst hitters I’ve ever seen. Jack Hannahan is just not very good. I think the state of the A’s offense was best summed up last Sunday, when Rob Bowen (now at .196) was summoned to pinch-hit against Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning.

And let’s understand something. This is not a hitting coach problem. This is a personnel problem. You can see why general manager Billy Beane is acting as if he’s conceding the division to the Angels.

Ugly. Real ugly.