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Elephant Rumblings: A’s swept by Astros in three competitive games

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Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

It was another dispiriting weekend for A’s fans, who watched the boys in green and gold get swept by the defending World Series champion Houston Astros in the first series of 2023 between the two AL West rivals. But there was a silver lining to be found: A’s pitching held the Astros to just eight runs in three games.

Unfortunately, the A’s offense managed just three runs in the series. More typically, we’ve witnessed the reverse situation where the A’s near-MLB average hitting gives the team a chance, while the team’s historically bad pitching, which has an MLB-worst ERA of 6.91, digs hole after hole and blows one save opportunity after another.

The hitting will probably get better again, and it should be noted that the Astros’ pitchers are quite formidable and capable of silencing offenses. But if A’s pitchers can sustain the improvements that have been demonstrated of late, we fans should be celebrating more wins as a result.

J.P. Sears was the A’s most noteworthy performer on the mound against the Astros. He endured a tough two-run first inning and got through another five without allowing another run. Sears struck out seven and walked just one in six innings, posting a quality start and allowing the A’s to tie the game up in the sixth.

The A’s bullpen fared respectably as well, allowing three earned runs in eight innings in the Houston series. If this level of pitching holds and the A’s offense can get back into the swing of things when Houston comes to the Coliseum this weekend, Oakland should have a pretty good chance of getting the better of the Astros in the next go-round.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of Twitter:

Roster moves.

A brawl to remember.

I’ll probably have this on repeat for the rest of the month.

No wonder Ruiz is a force of nature on the basepaths.

Ruiz steals bases, Ramon steals dingers.