The road to success is always under construction.
That’s what the Oakland Athletics found out this week during their visit up the East Coast—a road trip that resulted in five losses in six games at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox. It was a quaking wake-up call for an A’s team that began the road trip as the American League’s hottest team, sitting atop the West division and maintaining the league’s most productive offense. All of a sudden, Bam!, the A’s take a few punches to the gut, and now they’re a ball club that’s seen as less extraordinary.
Road trips can do that. They can suck the wind out of the sail, killing all forward progress, highlighting a team’s inadequacies and sharpening all naysayers’ criticism. And that’s what this six-game swing did for Oakland. It knocked the A’s off their boost in a fashion that left the young squad thoroughly humbled on their way back to the Bay Area.
The road trip ended on Wednesday with a 6-5 loss to the Red Sox, capping a series in which Boston took two of three. Here are five things learned from the three-game set against the host Sawx.