Manager Bob Melvin verbally unloaded on his team Sunday — at least for Bob Melvin, it was unloading — after the Oakland Athletics were swept in a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Athletics fell 8-1 in the series finale, putting them five games back of the Angels in the American League West. Oakland didn't score in 29 straight innings over the course of four games, from the sixth inning Thursday until the eighth inning Sunday, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Other than that, skipper, how did you enjoy Angel Stadium?
"What can you say? It was embarrassing. Pathetic. We don't play like that. The last three games here are the worst I’ve seen this team play in... I can't remember how long. I feel bad for our fans to have to watch that.”
Melvin conducted a closed-door team meeting after the game, giving the players a more emotional version of what he told the media. Usually mild mannered, Melvin also was ejected in the second inning by umpire Gerry Davis. The A's already had been at odds with Davis, who earlier in the series reportedly made a "crying baby gesture" to the A's when they complained about another call or calls.
The A's are 19-22 in the second half after reaching as many as 28 games over .500 on Aug. 9. They're also 8-8 against the Angels with three games to go at home Sept. 22-24.
Melvin acknowledged that the A's have been playing poorly for a while, but something about his perspective changed after getting ejected.
"I got to watch it on TV," Melvin said. "It's different. ... It was just frustrating. We can't play like that. We're not going to be able to play like that. The reason I'm upset is because that's not who we are. That's not who we've been for three years. And for the last... I don't know how long, it's mounted. It's been frustrating. But that last three games for us is just not who we are. At all. And it's embarrassing. They all should be embarrassed.
"I'm done. Thank you."
Managers only get so many of these emotional bullets. The good thing is, the A's have played well enough, for long enough, that Melvin rarely has to blow his top. So there's a good chance they'll respond. And they still lead the majors in runs scored, and are fourth in ERA as of Sunday night. There are plenty of reasons they had the best record in the majors for most of the summer.
One of the questions to Melvin — two of them, actually — wondered how much what was happening to them had to do with how well the Angels are playing. Melvin couldn't answer, or didn't want to, but of course it's a factor. The Angels haven beaten them five straight, and are 26-16 in the second half overall.
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