The Oakland Athletics open up their longest road trip of the season Friday as they face the Boston Red Sox three times at Fenway Park. The A's will then face the Orioles three times and wrap the trip up with three games at the White Sox. Oakland finds itself struggling as they are coming off a three game home sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees. The A's had swept three from Baltimore to pull to within 1 1/2 games of first-place Texas. Now they find themselves four games back in their biggest deficit of the young season.
It's a tough time for the A's and Monte Poole hit the nail on the head with his article about the detachment of the team's owners. The team just seems to be floating along in virtually every aspect and that point could come all the way back to the anemic offense. They'll get a spark here or there but there is nothing consistently dynamic about the offense. The offense improved a little bit in May as they boosted their batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage a little bit.
Ryan Sweeney was the biggest bat in May but the team only plays him against right-handed pitchers. Additionally he has been more of a singles hitter, which is valuable, but not enough to drive an offense. Cliff Pennington and David DeJesus both had solid Mays and will look to bring some consistency. However, it could very well come down to whether Hideki Matsui heats up with summer. If they can get his bat going he could be the engine that drives this offense.
The starting pitching has been a strength for most of this year but finds itself struggling over the last few days. The Yankees had their way with the A's pitchers and it doesn't get any easier with the Red Sox. Boston has gotten big years from Adrian Gonzalez and a resurgent David Ortiz among many others. Boston started off with a tough losing streak but has bounced back strong and is now two games out of first in the AL East.
3 game series vs Red Sox @ Fenway Park
|Sat 06/04 - Trevor Cahill vs. Josh Beckett||10:10 AM PDT|
|Sun 06/05 - Brett Anderson vs. John Lackey||10:35 AM PDT|