There aren't a whole lot of positives surrounding the Athletics right now. Losers of six straight games, Oakland is falling further and further out of the American League playoff picture.
They've been in this position before. And if history were to repeat itself, they could climb back into the race with one of their signature winning streaks. You know, how they've already done this season.
After losing six straight games in the first week of the season, the A's went on a tear, winning 13 games in a row and propelling themselves atop the AL West.
Granted, another 13-game winning streak is not likely, but if we know one thing about the A's, it's that when they're hot, they're almost unbeatable.
Oakland's sixth straight loss came at the hands of baseball's hottest team, the New York Yankees, who have won an astounding 13 games in a row.
The A's string of losses has consisted of competitive baseball and plenty of effort up and down the roster. Things just haven't gone their way.
“It’s just another bad stretch for us against some really good teams," manager Bob Melvin told reporters postgame. "We lost some close games that were one pitch or one hit away. Tonight was not one of those games. It’s one thing if we’re lackluster and we’re just getting blown out and making errors, (but) guys are trying. They’re trying hard, and we’ll continue to grind through it, win a game and hopefully get on a roll.”
“We’ve been here before, and right now the ball’s (not falling the way we want)," infielder Tony Kemp said postgame. "Just gotta keep battling. Every day presents a new opportunity and we just have to be ready for it.”
With 33 games left to play, the A's find themselves six and a half games behind the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West, and three and a half games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second wild-card spot. If the season ended today, Oakland would not be a playoff team.
“That’s the good thing about this team, nobody’s really hitting the panic button," Kemp said. "I think everyone's coming every day with a positive mindset to the ballpark and taking it a pitch at a time. Right now we’re not getting wins obviously, just gotta keep going at it and believing in each other and passing the baton in the batting order and keep playing good defense.”
Earlier this week, Melvin held a team meeting in an attempt to jump-start a struggling A's club.
“Bob doesn’t say a lot of words, but when he does, they have a lot of value," Kemp added. "Everything he said in the meeting, I think the team was feeling."
The final month of the season will be a huge test for the A's. Scheduled to face the Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners and Astros, Melvin's club will need to play their best ball if they hope to sneak into the postseason.
“We’re not going to go down without a fight, that’s for sure,” Kemp said.