Bullpen one of few bright spots today
It was a similar script from much of this 2012 season as the A's were shut out and mustered only three hits in a 4-0 defeat to the Twins at Target Field.
The three-game sweep by the Twins stretches the current losing streak to eight games. Tyson Ross took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings. The big damage came again from Josh Willingham, as the former A's slugger continues to torment Oakland with his 10th home run and three total RBI.
In contrast, Francisco Liriano looked like the dominant pitcher from 2006, not the win-less pitcher who entered with an ERA of 8.47 on the season.
The A's never seriously threatened, striking out nine times against Liriano and 10 overall. Ross scuffled early, allowing RBI singles to Willingham and Ben Revere in the first inning. For all intents and purposes, that was the ballgame. Willingham added to the misery by blasting a two-run shot to left field in the fifth, making it 4-0.
The lone bright spot was the A's bullpen, which pitched three scoreless innings and had four strikeouts. But the offense simply could not get on track. Colin Cowgill's first-inning double was the only extra-base hit of the game for Oakland.
Good: A's Bullpen
It was relatively meaningless, but the middle relief for Oakland has been largely outstanding this year. Three more innings of scoreless ball.
Bad: Tyson Ross
Again, he looked unable to control the location of his pitches, and it cost him. Willingham hit a mistake for his home run and Ross, for his movement and velocity, does not put hitters away.
His ERA is 5.94 and hopefully the A's are not depending on him or Graham Godfrey much longer this season.
Ugly: The Offense
Quite simply, it is the worst in baseball. Take a deep breath, A's fans, and imagine if Josh Reddick was not on this team.
It could be historically bad at this point. Three measly hits. Six runs total in a three-game sweep against a team that was 15-32 entering. This lack of any real offense is threatening to ruin a once promising season. Perhaps this is simply who the A's really are.
Now 22-29, the A's continue their road trip Friday night with the opener of a three-game set against the Kansas City Royals. Bartolo Colon matches up with Felipe Paulino, and first pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m.