What a difference a month makes.
On June 15, the A's lost to the Angels to fall to 34-36 on the season, 11 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second AL Wild Card spot.
Fast forward to July 15, and Oakland owns the sixth-best record in all of baseball at 55-42, just three games behind the Mariners.
#Athletics strong first half finish.— AthleticsPR (@AthleticsPR) July 15, 2018
* MLB-best 21-6 (.778) since June 16, including 15-5 on road.
* Oakland is 8-0-1 in their last 9 series.
* Oakland is 50-32 (.610) since April 15, 4th-best in MLB in that span.
*Oakland was 7-3 on this trip and 23-9 on road since May 14.
The A's enter the All-Star break winners of 21 of their last 27 games, and as serious playoff contenders. The question of whether Oakland would be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline has been answered, emphatically. The A's are buyers.
"This group deserves a chance to stay together,” general manager David Forst told Jim Rome on his radio show. “They deserve a chance to play this thing out."
“I prefer to be a buyer and that’s what (we) are preparing to do,” Billy Beane said to The Athletic.
Don't expect the A's to make any huge additions - perhaps they'll add a starting pitcher or possibly another reliever - but simply holding on to veterans like Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, and Blake Treinen is better than most fans expected at the start of the season. The current roster has already proven it doesn't need a ton of help.
“I think we're playing really confident baseball and making a charge here,” said outfielder Stephen Piscotty. “We're right there, so we're excited to keep going.”
“It's starting to get that feeling, that playoff vibe,” added Sunday's winning pitcher Sean Manaea.
So buckle up, A's fans. Your team is right in the middle of a playoff chase. It's time to start believing.