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Elephant Rumblings: Bats just can’t get going

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Tampa Bay Rays Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Tuesday to you all, Athletics Nation!

We knew the A’s might struggle this year, but I don’t think anyone saw this level of inability from the offense coming. The A’s could barely score a run last night and have now scored just six runs over their last four games, with five of those coming in the series opener against the Rays last week.

Expanding on the struggles, if you take out the 11-run outburst against the Guardians last week, the team as a whole has scored 17 runs over 9 games to start the season, good for 1.9 runs per game. Only the Detroit Tigers have scored less than Oakland, and only by one run. The Kansas City Royals have scored one more run than the A’s, and from there it’s a pretty big jump to #4: the Seattle Mariners, who have collected 45 runs.

It’s not just the run-scoring department either. It would be one thing if the team was getting on-base but just not cashing in at the right time. No, the team is also 27th in the entirety of baseball in hits with 64, and 25th in the league in home runs with a measly 8 long balls on the season. The A’s have pretty clearly established themselves as among the worst offenses in the league already, which is saying something so early in the year.

The loss of one of their best hitters in Seth Brown hurts, but there was some hope that Kevin Smith, who replaced Brown on the roster and got his first start of the season last night, would help spark the offense in some way after his torrid start to the season down in Triple-A. Instead Smith, starting at shortstop in his season debut in The Show, struck out in three of his four at-bats and looked exactly like the Kevin Smith from last year: completely overmatched and out of his league. Hopefully it was just the first-game-of-the-year jitters, and he’ll surely be getting more chances here in the next few weeks. But man, yesterday was not a good look for someone who is one of the remaining pieces of the Matt Chapman trade. Who else is ready for Tyler Soderstrom to make his debut?

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Jesus, Rays. Save some wins for the rest of us:

Ummm, what?

Very astute observation, Melissa: