Any other season I would be able to tell you what I’ve seen out of the Athletics’ clubhouse. How I’m observing the vibe and body language from the guys as they start the season off with a 2-7 record.
A’s manager Bob Melvin did his best to describe how the team felt before Oakland's 6-2 win over the Houston Astros and admitted it hasn’t been easy.
“This is tough,” Melvin told NBC Sports California analyst Dontrelle Willis on A’s Pregame Live. “I think if you’re looking at the middle of the season and you’re going through a stretch like this, it doesn’t feel as significant, but we have high expectations as a team, we expected to get off to a good start, we have not at this point, so yeah -- it’s weighing on everybody.”
That's nothing different from what the guys have told reporters during their media availabilities after games.
But what seems to be the problem? Hitting? Yes. Pitching? Yes.
“Well, I think right now, if you take a look at the numbers, it’s going to be the bats, but you know what, it’s a team approach, you know,” Melvin added.
Heading into Friday’s game, the A’s collectively as a team were hitting with a .170 average, tied with the Atlanta Braves for 29th worst in the league. They responded with seven hits and three homers Friday.
While A's pitchers entered the day with a league-worst 7.13 ERA, starter Sean Manaea held the Astros to one run in six strong innings.
“We haven’t pitched as well either as we expected to,” Melvin added. “You look at our overall numbers offensively, you look at the pitching numbers, not where we want to be.”
The team feels it.
“So good teams take this personally together, and we are,” Melvin said. “It’s going to take a total team effort to get out of it.”