OAKLAND -- "Well, aside from the accumulation of frequent flier miles, the trip sucked -- there's really no other way to put that."
NBC Sports California baseball analyst Dallas Braden wasn't sugarcoating it. The A's arrived back in Oakland from a nine-game road trip with a 1-8 record. The sole win they had was a historic performance by catcher Josh Phegley, but that appeared to be a distant memory.
So what was the problem? For starters, the games the team should have won, well -- they didn't.
"I think it's probably not being able to win some of the ball games you should win," Braden told NBC Sports California. "What do they say? 'You'd love to be able to split on the road and come home .500?' That happens because you win some of the games you should win, maybe you get lucky and squeak one or two that you shouldn't have, but 1-8 doesn't get it done."
A 1-8 record is never good, but there's more to it than just the record itself.
"Even if a road trip is unsuccessful, the fashion in which you lose some of those games I think can really stick with the team. Hopefully, that's what coming home does -- it gives you the opportunity to put some of those heartaches in the past."
Braden was present for the Boston series and had a great time -- even mouthing off a bit with fans, but became humbled very quickly. At one point, the A's had an early lead on the defending World Series champs, but well ...
"The team was out to an early lead, I was running my mouth, having a great time, and then was promptly slapped across the face with reality. And that reality was we were just struggling, not playing great defense, not pitching at the time," Braden said. "Look, the bottom line was we weren't doing anything collectively or correctly at the right time against a quality club in Boston, but against quality clubs across the board on the road, and that's just now who we've come to know or what we expect our club to be."
The former A's pitcher did, however, have some optimistic things to say upon the return of Matt Olson who was recently activated off the injured list.
"Olson will make a difference on two fronts. One, it's instant length to the lineup offensively. You insert power from the left side, that helps everybody, and the entire infield instantly gets better when you think about agility and presence over there at first base, not only from him personally, but the ability to create a soft landing as far as throws are concerned."