Oakland A's: Are They Giving Away Their Shot at Postseason Play?

Christopher BenvieCorrespondent IIAugust 7, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 13:  Josh Reddick #16 of the Oakland Athletics reacts to popping up in foul territory for an out in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins on July 13, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Athletics defeated the Twins 6-3. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Going into Tuesday's action, the Oakland A's have found themselves losers of their last three games and six of their last 10.

They're trending downwards at the wrong time of the season.

In what has been a surprising season to say the least, Oakland sits 5.5 games behind the Texas Rangers for the lead in the American League West and just a half game out of Wild Card contention.

Of course, yesterday they owned one of those Wild Card playoff berths.

So it goes in Major League Baseball.

Over the last 30 days, rookie Yoenis Cespedes has been the only player on the team to have been performing at an impressive level.

In his last 23 games and 85 at-bats, Cespedes is batting .412 with five home runs and 19 RBI.

Josh Reddick, the man who started the season on fire for the A's has cooled off significantly. 

Before the All-Star break, Reddick owned a .268/.348/.532/.880 batting line with 20 home runs, 43 RBI, and 15 doubles and four triples.

Through his first 83 games and 314 at-bats, he managed 84 hits while scoring 52 runs. In essence, he was the MVP of the A's.

Since the All-Star Break, it has been a completely different story.

Reddick has just a .226/.263/.441/.703 batting line. In 23 games and 93 at-bats he has managed 21 hits with six doubles, a triple and four home runs with 13 RBI.

While the bat is willing, he's just not able to get on base.

The pitching on the other hand has a debt of gratitude to pay towards A.J. Griffin, the only pitcher with three wins in the past 30 days (and five starts) for the A's.

Only Bartolo Colon has a better ERA (2.70 versus 2.25) over the last 30 days. Colon, however, is 2-1 in his last five starts.

Both Tommy Milone and Jarrod Parker have ERAs north of 5.00 in the past 30 days of baseball.

What's more, closer Ryan Cook has only converted three of his last seven save opportunities.

Objectively, the A's appear to be playing some pretty fractured baseball. They are giving away their shot to play late into October.

With two games left against the Angels before heading to Chicago for a series with the White Sox, the next five games will certainly serve as a measuring stick for the A's, answering the question, "Are they a legitimate playoff team?" for certain.