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Waldichuk shines, offense dives; A’s lose 6th straight

Ken Waldichuk keeps getting better. The A’s aren’t.

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Oakland Athletics John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland A’s are in the midst of their second 6-game losing streak in just 19 games so far this season. Though hope is on the horizon with Mason Miller and Jordan Diaz getting the callup, this nightmare of a 2023 season is still in full-on Freddy Kruger mode.

For once, however, it wasn’t the starting pitcher’s fault. Ken Waldichuk, whose 6 innings of 3-run ball last week is the reason the A’s aren’t in the midst of a 13-game losing streak. He shut down a very hot Cubs lineup, dealing 5 scoreless, 5-strikeout innings. He also reached 100 pitches again, a godsend for an excessively fatigued bullpen.

The rest of the staff was strong as well, with one exception, of course. Sam Moll relieved Waldy in the 6th and struck out a pair without any baserunners while James Kaprielian, in his first bullpen outing of the year, had a mostly uneventful 7th.

Trevor May, the exception, has continued his streak of being straight up bad this year, going all the way back to Spring Training. It hurts to say as someone who was excited about his signing when it happened, but it’s unavoidable. His pitches look flat and are often down the middle, giving him no chance to get major league batters out. Today, he allowed a walk, a double, and a single in just a third of an inning, leading to the Cub’s 2 winning runs.

Another couple runs scored that inning after Richard Lovelady allowed a groundout and a single before Connor Capel dropped an easy flyball in right field, putting the A’s in a 4-0 hole. Adam Oller was mostly good for the last 1.1 innings but surely he’ll give up 8 runs his next outing.

While Oakland’s pitching was at least competitive, the offense was not. Mostly lifeless, the lineup only had 7 baserunners the whole game, only getting a runner to 2nd base three times. To make matters worse, Brent Rooker, i.e. the A’s best hitter since Jason Giambi, came out of the game after just one inning and seemed to be talking to a trainer about tightness in his right hamstring. Hopefully, it’s just precautionary and he resumes mashing tomorrow.

The A’s are now down to a pathetic 3-15 with their only source of optimism being the “New Oakland” or corking their bats and plunging their pitchers’ hands into a jar of pine tar.