Is It Time for A's to Panic Following Fifth Straight Loss to End April?

The A's mustered just three hits Tuesday night in an ugly 5-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. It was Oakland's fifth straight defeat, marking the team's longest losing streak since 2017.

Oakland now has lost 8 of its last 11 games and is a season-worst four games below .500 at 14-18. Sure, we can keep telling ourselves it's still early, but the truth is that the A's are now 20 percent of the way through the season and showing some serious issues.

"Little funk going on right now, across the board," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters. "We haven't played great defense, we haven't pitched very well, we haven't swung the bats very well. But we'll come out of it. It's just a part of the season that's difficult. We've got to remain positive and these guys will."

We knew the starting rotation could be a concern and it has been. A's starters have combined for a 4.96 ERA, ranking 22nd in MLB. Only Frankie Montas has an ERA under four.

Surprisingly, the bullpen hasn't been much better, registering an ERA of 4.14. That's nearly a full run worse than the bullpen's 3.37 ERA from a season ago. Veterans Joakim Soria, Fernando Rodney and Ryan Buchter have all struggled and All-Star closer Blake Treinen has already allowed five earned runs after giving up just seven all of last season.

Offensively, the A's have been wildly inconsistent. After scoring 23 runs in their three-game sweep of Texas last week, Oakland has totaled just 12 runs during the current five-game skid. Khris Davis is mired in a massive slump, seeing his batting average plummet to .218 while going homer-less since April 12.

Newcomers Jurickson Profar, Kendrys Morales and Nick Hundley are all batting below .200 and Robbie Grossman isn't much higher at .221.

The A's have also been below average defensively, committing 19 errors, tied for the eighth-most in MLB. Profar leads all second basemen with seven and appears to be battling the yips.

As Melvin noted, the A's haven't performed well in any area recently. Of course, Oakland didn't really take off last year until mid-June. They also figure to get some reinforcements when players like Matt Olson, Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton, A.J. Puk and possibly Jesús Luzardo return from injury.

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But if they dig themselves into too deep of a hole, that may not matter. The rest of this road trip will be very important. The A's are 0-5 on the nine-game trip with one game remaining in Boston and then three in Pittsburgh. Oakland certainly hopes May will bring better fortunes than April did.

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