'No love lost' for A's bullpen despite another meltdown originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The Athletics lost another heartbreaker on Saturday after taking a four-run lead into the eighth inning.
The A's crushing 8-6 loss to the Texas Rangers was a byproduct of another bullpen meltdown, but the team isn’t giving up on their relievers just yet.
“As a fellow pitcher, there’s no love lost,” A’s starter Cole Irvin said.
Irvin put the A's into position to win with a strong outing on the mound, striking out eight in seven innings, while walking just one.
“We got a lot of faith there,” Irvin said. “[Andrew] Chafin’s been good for us all year, [Sergio] Romo, mentally and physically worked his tail off to fix things that he had going on in the season and he’s there.”
The A’s bullpen had blown eight saves over the last 19 games.
Romo, however, wasn’t his typical self on Saturday, giving up three hits and four earned, including a two-run homer to DJ Peters, in 2/3 of an inning.
“Just some middle of the plate,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said after the game on Romo’s struggles. “He’s doing his thing, it’s pretty fine on the corners. It’s tough for me to tell in and out, but just based on some of the swings that we saw, probably just some middle of the plate, unfortunately.”
Irvin named Jake Diekman and Daulton Jefferies, as well, who have been putting up solid innings as of late.
Jefferies, in particular, has excelled coming out of the bullpen role lately.
Developed as a starter, Jefferies has allowed five hits and three earned runs while striking out three and limiting opposing batters to a .208 batting average in 6 2/3 innings over three appearances.
Jefferies wasn't used Saturday, but with several relievers struggling right now, Melvin might be forced to use the rookie in high-leverage situations moving forward.
“Today was a good day for me, but heartbreaking loss,” Irvin said.
The A’s are focusing on winning series from here on out as they trail several teams in the AL Wild Card race. It’s urgent from here on out with the standings getting tighter as each day goes by.
“We just got to go out and tomorrow and try to win a series and put one of these tough games behind us again,” Melvin said.