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Elephant Rumblings: A’s suffer first sweep of 2022

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MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Oakland Athletics D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

I’m sure you have something to be happy about, but no joy is to be had in remembering the Cleveland Guardians’ three game sweep of the A’s over the weekend. After hanging tough and staying above the .500 mark through most of April, the A’s dropped two frustratingly close games on Friday and Saturday to end the month, and then started off May by taking a pretty sound drubbing in Sunday’s snoozer to fall to a record of 10-12.

Oakland is now in fourth place in the AL West, 4.5 games behind the division-leading Angels. Nope, that isn’t a typo.

In some ways, it seemed like the things that had been going unexpectedly well for the A’s began showing signs of regressing toward expectations last weekend. First, the bullpen gave up a three run lead on Friday, squandering the A’s first big offensive day in over a week.

Then on Saturday, closer-of-late Dany Jiménez yielded his first runs of the season, unable to pitch out of trouble yet again—though it is worth noting that his 0.00 ERA still holds, since the runs were unearned. Infielder Nick Allen committed an uncharacteristic error that extended the ninth inning and allowed the Guardians to complete their rally to victory.

The A’s offense was leading the majors in runs scored just a couple of weeks ago, but has been anemic since, even with the lineup getting back toward full strength after some early injuries. Oakland’s bats were silenced for nearly all of Sunday’s game but managed a few consolation runs in the ninth. James Kaprielian, who we’d hoped would be a welcome reinforcement in the starting rotation, was positively off the mark and got lit up en route to a third inning exit.

Will the A’s claw their way back to .500 this week or fall further behind and perform as experts projected ahead of the season? Let’s take stock of a few positives:

  • The A’s begin a three game home series against Tampa Bay today. The Rays are a tough opponent, but the A’s took three of four from them in St. Petersburg last month.
  • A.J. Puk looked fantastic and kept the game close on Friday after Justin Grimm and Domingo Acevedo blew the A’s lead. Maybe he’s ready for high-leverage action?
  • Finally, Ramon Laureano is eligible to return this Sunday!

We shall see how well the A’s can keep up the fight.

A’s Coverage:

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Mike Selleck’s latest notes:

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A big Saturday night for the Aviators.

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Kyle Schwarber, Met killer