A's Report Card: April was a roller coaster ride for the ages

A's Report Card: April was a roller coaster ride for the ages

Courtesy of Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Through the first eight games of the season, the A's legitimately looked like the worst team in all of baseball. Over the next two weeks, it seemed as though they might never lose again.

April turned out to be the ultimate roller coaster ride for the Green and Gold, but at the end of the month, Oakland found itself right where it hoped to be — leading the American League West.

The A's started the season on a six-game losing streak, and it's not like these were close losses. Oakland allowed a whopping 50 runs, mustering just 13 of their own, translating to a league-worst -37 run differential.

What happened next was borderline miraculous. Somehow, the A's strung together 13 consecutive wins to go from 1-7 to 14-7. These were two completely different teams. Hell, it may as well have been two different sports.

While the A's cooled off a bit at the end of the month, they still rode the April wave to a 16-11 record, a game ahead of second-place Seattle in the AL West.

So without further ado, here is our A's report card for the opening month of the season.


The lineup showed flashes of its potential throughout April, especially during the winning streak, but overall, the bats were pretty inconsistent. The A's averaged 4.11 runs per game, ranking 18th in MLB. Their team batting average was just .214, fourth-worst in baseball, and their OPS rated 20th at .679. Oakland did hit for power, with their 33 home runs tied for sixth in the league, but their .378 slugging percentage was only tied for 18th. Matt Olson carried much of the production, leading the team with a .296 batting average, .943 OPS, and six home runs. Unfortunately, only Jed Lowrie and Mark Canha joined Olson with an OPS above .702. The team will need more contributions moving forward. Grade: B-


The A's defense has been a consistent strength over the past few seasons and it's looking like more of the same this year. The Matts — Chapman and Olson — have been stellar at the corners and newcomer Elvis Andrus has made some terrific plays at shortstop. As a team, Oakland ranked sixth in baseball with a .987 fielding percentage and ninth with a 1.5 ultimate zone rating. The A's committed just 12 errors in 27 games. However, they finished the month second to last in defensive runs saved at -14. Otherwise, their defense was solid enough to be in the A range. Grade: B+


Oakland received strong performances from three of their five starting pitchers. Sean Manaea was outstanding, going 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA. Chris Bassitt and Cole Irvin were also effective, finishing the month with sub-four earned run averages. However, Frankie Montas and Jesús Luzardo got off to slow starts with ERAs of 6.20 and 5.40, respectively. As a unit, the A's starters went 10-11 with a 4.32 ERA, ranking 19th in MLB. Their 1.35 WHIP was tied for 22nd and their .265 opposing batting average was tied for worst. Oakland's starters did eat plenty of innings, however, accounting for 145 2/3 of them, third-most in baseball. Grade: B-


After a rocky start, the A's bullpen performed admirably, especially when you consider they were without closer Trevor Rosenthal, who underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Lou Trivino excelled as a fill-in, posting a 1.20 ERA and four saves. Jake Diekman added two saves and a 2.38 ERA. Yusmeiro Petit was his usual valuable self, going 3-0 with a 1.10 ERA in 14 appearances. As a whole, the bullpen was a perfect 6-0 with a 3.74 ERA, good for 12th in MLB. Perhaps most impressive, the A's didn't blow a single save during the month of April. The only real disappointments were newcomers Sergio Romo, Adam Kolarek, and Reymin Guduan, who combined for an ERA of 11.21. Take them out of the equation and it would have been an easy A. Grade: B+


Bob Melvin and his staff did a phenomenal job keeping the ship afloat following the horrific 1-7 start. Melvin's even-keeled nature helped prevent a full-blown panic, and his players responded in a big way. The coaching staff also had to navigate several injuries, most notably to Rosenthal and Chad Pinder, but also to Olson, Ramón Laureano, Sean Murphy, Mike Fiers, and A.J. Puk. Through all of the turmoil, the A's managed to win 16 of their 27 games, putting them on pace to win 96 games and reach the postseason for the fourth straight year. Grade: A-

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