A’s not ready to panic; fans not so sure

Manager Bob Melvin has 39 games to get the A's into the American League playoffs.

Manager Bob Melvin has 39 games to get the A’s into the American League playoffs.

For three days in June, the A’s held a six-game lead in the American League West.

That was then. Now things are much different, a virtual tie in the West with six weeks left in the season.

Time to panic?

Not in the A’s clubhouse. Oakland has 39 games left (the Angels, who are .002 percentage points up on the A’s, have 41), a mostly favorable schedule and the belief that they can play better.

But to watch my twitter feed, it’s not a case of the world coming to an end. The end has come and gone.

Some examples:

“About to be a new Sheriff in town. BB shouldn’t have got greedy.’’ @phantomcorsos1

“The A’s are built for the post-season the way the Astros are built to win now.’’ @jflynn203

“This team is DOA. And it’s all on Beane.’’ @GeneEgdorf

“U can begin your 2014 A’s collapse editorial right now.’’ @raiderjmb

“That’s our second-half mantra. `A’s come up empty again.’ ’’ @thesonszu

“Has there been anything enjoyable about watching the A’s lately?’’ @aduarte82

There’s a whole lot of pessimism built in there. And I understand it. Hey, I’ve watched the same games these tweeters have. There’s been some seriously bad baseball going on under the auspices of the A’s.

Is it a trend or a blip on the radar?

I’m seeing it as a blip. Certainly I could be wrong, but the A’s have gone through a stretch of about three weeks without playing well. I don’t believe it is a permanent condition.

Mind you, I don’t know if the A’s will win the West. The Angels are very good, although if they can keep winning at the same rate they have been – victorious in 33 of their last 47 games – with the number of people the Anaheim crew has on the disabled list it would be a surprise.

But it would be a surprise if the A’s, who have 39 games left, don’t win most of them. They have 13 games against the Astros (22 games under .500 entering Sunday) and the Rangers (29 under). They have another three against the Phils (15 under), four against the White Sox (seven under) and two against the Mets (six under).

That’s 22 of the final 29 against teams either under .500 or way, way under .500. That should be the remedy for what ails the A’s right now.

The key will be the 10 head-on-head games against the Angels. The A’s have won six of the first nine. If they can win five of the last 10, that might well be enough to lock down the West.

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.

  • @JohnsDough

    John one great thing about this season is your coverage, you aren’t an A’s cheer leader nor are you snarky like some of our other beat reports us fans rely upon for our Athletics news. I like how you call it how you see it your pieces are enjoyable reads I hope you’ll be covering the team for years to come.

    I think the deadline has put a lot of pressure on the remaining power guys and we have a team that is pressing a lot, Cespedes for Lester might be the deal that undid the 2014 as well as the 2015 team’s chances of a deep playoff run. I hope I’m wrong but fear I’m not.

  • Brad Lundblad

    Their offense has been hot and cold since before the All Star break. They really haven’t shaken it. They need to be done with the Jason Hammel experiment and yank him from the 5 spot in the rotation. He is killing them. There has to be someone better as he is getting hit hard.