OAKLAND -- Much of the A's success last year was due to their phenomenal bullpen, specifically Blake Treinen and Lou Trivino.
Treinen had a historic season, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to record at least 30 saves and 100 strikeouts with an ERA under one. Trivino was nearly as good, finishing 8-3 with a 2.92 ERA, striking out 82 batters in 74 innings.
This year, it's been a different story for Oakland's dynamic duo.
Treinen has already allowed 11 earned runs, four more than he surrendered all of last season, and has an ERA of 3.62. He gave up two key runs in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 12-7 loss to the Angels.
Trivino also struggled in Wednesday's contest, allowing five runs (four earned) in one inning of work. His ERA ballooned to 3.67.
"I was just underneath a lot of the balls," Trivino explained. "Everything was up. Everything was flat. It was tough to locate. ... Not a recipe for success."
After giving up just two earned runs between March and April, Trivino has now surrendered nine earned runs in 14 1/3 innings this month. That translates to a 5.65 ERA.
Treinen has been even less effective recently, allowing 10 earned runs in his last 14 innings of work for an ERA of 6.43.
"It's not like he had bad stuff," Melvin said of Treinen's outing on Wednesday. "The one hard-hit ball (an RBI double by Luis Rengifo) is the one pitch he would probably want to take back."
Treinen's command has been among the chief concerns. The hard-throwing right-hander has already walked 12 batters this year in just 27 1/3 innings. Last season, he walked 21 in 80 1/3 frames.
Earlier this month, Treinen missed a couple of games due to right elbow soreness. However, he says it was just tendonitis, something he's experienced before, and he felt fine.
Trivino has dealt with his own command issues this season, issuing 14 walks in 27 innings, including three on Wednesday.
"Location, just flat," he said. "Everything wasn't going my way today."
The A's will have to hope that their dominant right-handers get back on track in a hurry. Oakland relies heavily on its bullpen, and Treinen and Trivino are probably the two most important members.
Still, Melvin isn't overly concerned.
"It's not like these guys got pounded," he said. "It just ended up not being our day."