OAKLAND -- "Well, aside from the accumulation of frequent flier miles, the trip sucked -- there's really no other way to put that."
NBC Sports California baseball analyst Dallas Braden wasn't sugarcoating it. The A's arrived back in Oakland from a nine-game road trip with a 1-8 record. The sole win they had was a historic performance by catcher Josh Phegley, but that appeared to be a distant memory.
So what was the problem? For starters, the games the team should have won, well -- they didn't.
"I think it's probably not being able to win some of the ball games you should win," Braden told NBC Sports California. "What do they say? 'You'd love to be able to split on the road and come home .500?' That happens because you win some of the games you should win, maybe you get lucky and squeak one or two that you shouldn't have, but 1-8 doesn't get it done."
A 1-8 record is never good, but there's more to it than just the record itself.
"Even if a road trip is unsuccessful, the fashion in which you lose some of those games I think can really stick with the team. Hopefully, that's what coming home does -- it gives you the opportunity to put some of those heartaches in the past."
Braden was present for the Boston series and had a great time -- even mouthing off a bit with fans, but became humbled very quickly. At one point, the A's had an early lead on the defending World Series champs, but well ...
"The team was out to an early lead, I was running my mouth, having a great time, and then was promptly slapped across the face with reality. And that reality was we were just struggling, not playing great defense, not pitching at the time," Braden said. "Look, the bottom line was we weren't doing anything collectively or correctly at the right time against a quality club in Boston, but against quality clubs across the board on the road, and that's just now who we've come to know or what we expect our club to be."
The former A's pitcher did, however, have some optimistic things to say upon the return of Matt Olson who was recently activated off the injured list.
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"Olson will make a difference on two fronts. One, it's instant length to the lineup offensively. You insert power from the left side, that helps everybody, and the entire infield instantly gets better when you think about agility and presence over there at first base, not only from him personally, but the ability to create a soft landing as far as throws are concerned."
The Cincinnati Reds are playing a strange form of Game Delay Bingo.
On Monday, the start of their game against the Giants was delayed 18 minutes due to a swarm of bees on the field.
A night later, the Reds had to wait out another problem. A bank of lights above the left field stands in the Oakland Coliseum wouldn't turn on, delaying the start of their game against A's by 98 minutes.
Tonights game has been temporarily delayed due to a lighting malfunction in left field. Stay tuned for more details.— Oakland A's (@Athletics) May 8, 2019
The start of tonights #Athletics-#Reds game is going to be delayed due to a lighting malfunction in left field. Man Im gonna miss the Coliseum. pic.twitter.com/tMyRG34YKH— Ben Ross (@BenRossSports) May 8, 2019
The Reds took the delay in stride.
We are currently experiencing a lighting malfunction delay in Oakland. (No bees, though.) But it's okay because Derek "Handyman" Dietrich is here! = pic.twitter.com/pnQoVYRhon— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) May 8, 2019
The crew at the Coliseum was unable to fix the bank of lights, but the game started anyway at 8:45 p.m. PT.
Were underway after a 1 hour and 38 minute delay. Left field looks fine. #Athletics #Reds pic.twitter.com/4K0PGVYIJY— Ben Ross (@BenRossSports) May 8, 2019
For their next trick, we'd like to see a Reds game delayed by the sprinklers coming on.
OAKLAND For the first time since March 21, Matt Olson is back in the A's lineup.
Oakland reinstated Olson from the injured list Tuesday after the first baseman missed 34 games with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. Olson will bat fifth as the A's open a three-game interleague series with the Cincinnati Reds.
Meanwhile, A's designated hitter Khris Davis was initially listed in the cleanup spot after leaving Sunday's game in Pittsburgh with a left hip contusion. However, Davis was a late scratch from the lineup due to that hip injury and was replaced by Kendrys Morales.
The A's got more good news on the injury front Tuesday when manager Bob Melvin announced that closer Blake Treinen would be available to pitch. Treinen had felt some discomfort in his right elbow, but it turned out to just be tendinitis.
Bob Melvin confirms Treinen is available to pitch tonight https://t.co/4mBE36T3Yr— Ben Ross (@BenRossSports) May 7, 2019
Mike Fiers takes the hill for Oakland, hoping to even his record at 3-3 and improve his 6.81 ERA. Cincinnati counters with right-hander Tyler Mahle, who is still looking for his first win of the year.
Here are the full lineups for the Reds-A's game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 7:07.
Cincinnati Reds (15-20)Joey Votto, 1BEugenio Suarez, 3BJesse Winkler, LFYasiel Puig, RFDerek Dietrich, DHNick Senzel, CFJose Iglesias, SSTucker Harnhart, C
Kyle Farmer, 2B
Tyler Mahgle, RHP (0-4, 4.09 ERA)
Oakland A's (15-21)Marcus Semien, SSRobbie Grossman, LFMatt Chapman, 3BKendrys Morales, DHMatt Olson, 1BStephen Piscotty, RFJurickson Profar, 2BRamn Laureano, CF
Josh Phegley, C
Mike Fiers, RHP (2-3, 6.81 ERA)