The Oakland Athletics have the best record in baseball since June 16th, winning 26 of their last 33 games. They now sit 17 games over .500 and are within reach of the Wild Card.
With the lowest payroll in baseball, the Oakland Athletics are having a surprising, even thrilling season. But what actually makes this team so surprising, and so good?
After beginning the season 10-25 against Al West opponents, the A’s are now within reach of the Wild Card. At their furthest back on June 14th, the team was 10 games behind Seattle in the race. But with their incredible comeback wins in the last two nights against the Rangers, they have now climbed within 1.5 games of the Wild Card. They have gone 10-0-1 in their last eleven series and have not lost back to back games in well over a month.
2018 Oakland Athletics Fact #1: They Don’t Lose (Literally, Not Once) When Leading After the 7th or 8th Inning
When the Oakland Athletics are up late in the game, they hold on — every single time. They are undefeated when leading after the 7th inning at 40-0.
This fact no doubt is owed largely to the A’s bullpen, which has a 75% save percentage (3rd best in the AL). In particular, the duo of rookie pitcher Lou Trivino and All-Star closer Blake Treinen have together bolstered the bullpen to one of the league’s best. Trivino, promoted to the bigs on April 7th, has 7 wins, the second-most wins in relief in the American League, and an ERA of 1.36. Blake Treinen, acquired from the Nationals in 2017, has a (tied-for) AL 3rd-best 26 saves on the season and a 1.06 ERA.
With the recent addition of relief pitcher Jeurys Familia from the Mets and rumors that the A’s are potentially looking to add an additional relief pitcher to the roster by the trade deadline, the A’s have seemingly decided to strengthen their bullpen rather than attempt to acquire a costly starter.
A’s fans are likely overjoyed to see these moves as Oakland’s commitment to this group of players and what they can do, as they proceed as buyers, not sellers as the deadline approaches.