The Oakland A’s have had a rocky start to the regular season. Between the rainy weather and some disappointing outings, Athletics fans are beginning to questions how successful that A’s will be this year. Let’s take a look at what went wrong during the first week.
1) New closer Jim Johnson’s disappointing outings
Johnson has only made three appearances as an Athletic, and he has already been booed by A’s fans. This is probably due to the fact that two out of his the three appearances have resulted in losses. He now has a 45.00 ERA for the season with zero strikeouts and three walks. This closer is definitely not living up to his potential.
However, he has only pitched a total of two innings and has only blown one save opportunity. Additionally, he pitched a scoreless inning on Saturday afternoon against the Mariners in which he looked very sharp and in control. A’s fans need to give Johnson a bit more time before jumping to the conclusion that he will be unsuccessful this season.
2) The A’s stadium woes
For much of last season there was talk about the Athletics needing a new baseball stadium. The rainy start to this season has only enforced this idea. On Saturday, March 29th, the Oakland A’s returned to the O.co Coliseum for an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants. They were greeted with backed up and overflowing toilets.
Then on Friday April 3rd, the infield – which was left uncovered the night before – was sopping wet after a nighttime rainstorm making it too dangerous to play. With the Coliseum 21 feet below sea level, it is easy for water to pool in various places around the field and in the dugouts. And, much like during the rainout on Tuesday, April 1st, the grounds crew has to work around the clock just to make sure the field is ready and dry for the next day’s game.
Even though the ballpark when through some upgrades during the offseason including a fresh coat of paint, remodeled dugouts, and a larger selection of food and beer, there still seems to be the same old problems plaguing this old stadium. Since the Oakland A’s are only bound to a two year lease, I think it is time to start seriously looking for a new place the Athletics can call home.
3) The A’s lack of batting strategy
The Oakland A’s have never been known for being power hitters, but they always had their ways of getting on base. However, during this first week, the A’s have been having trouble when it comes to changing up their strategy when facing a pitcher who is shutting down the A’s lineup. On Saturday, the Oakland Athletics’ only run scored was Jed Lowrie’s home run in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners. Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez struck out eight, only walked one, and allowed only one run on six hits. If the A’s observed Hernandez and tried to adjust accordingly to his pitching style, the A’s may have had better luck.
Even though the first week of the regular season has been tough for the Oakland A’s, they are a team that always perseveres. Their current 2-3 losing record should not be a major cause of concern just yet. Last year the A’s did not get hot till the beginning of May. Let’s try to ignore the hype that the Oakland A’s are destined to win the World Series and just focus on them winning the next game.