A’s 13-game win streak has roots in ugly start to season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
After their loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 6, it appeared like the Athletics might not win a game this season. That’s how bad they looked.
But after their latest win — their 13th straight — it looks like those same A’s might never lose again.
“I think the starters are taking the pressure off the hitters just because I think we’re on a pretty good streak of quality starts,” Bassitt told reporters on a video conference call after the game. “And then it’s the exact opposite. The hitters are taking a lot of pressure off the starters because of how many runs we’re getting. So, yeah, I think it’s a perfect mix right now of the hitters trusting the pitchers and the pitchers trusting the hitters.”
Mark Canha and Matt Olson got the A’s (14-7) on the board before Bassitt could even take the mound. After Canha doubled to lead off the game, Olson brought him home with a one-out RBI single to right field.
An inning later, Canha drove in two runs with a single and Olson added another RBI on a double to deep left.
Jed Lowrie put the game out of reach in the fourth inning with a three-run homer to right.
That was all Bassitt needed as he allowed eight hits, two earned runs and yielded one walk while striking out eight in his second win of the season.
Bassitt was one of the originators of the A’s “Riding The Wave” mantra, which started after their six-game losing streak to open the season, and he spoke about its meaning after Saturday’s win.
“It was more so just a collective thought of ‘We want to put our best foot forward every single day. Show up, get our work in, don’t skip stuff’ and at the end of the day, you have to trust yourself,” Bassitt said. “We obviously lost six games to start the year, but it’s more so, if we truly believe we’re a good team, which I know we do, these six games don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. It sucks, but it don’t mean much just as long as we truly believe, which we do. It was a mindset just to get through it. Just keep working and eventually good things are going to happen.”
Veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus, who had two hits and scored two runs Saturday, credits the A’s 1-6 start for sparking the current winning streak.
“We’re really chill right now, and even after the first seven games that we lost, we were still chill,” Andrus said. “Those seven games did something amazing for our team, which was get the whole group even closer. And as soon as you get a team that close, those winning streaks start coming up. So big shoutout to everybody for keep trusting ourselves.”
After winning the 2020 AL West title, the start of this season came as a shock to everyone involved with the A’s, but even Andrus, who is in his first season with the team, knew better days were ahead.
“We knew as a team, especially after that first week, that we were way better than that,” Andrus said. “Big shoutout to the coaches and the manager for not panicking and trusting that it will only take one game to get us going and that’s what happened with that walk-off. Everybody started feeling better and everybody kind of relaxed a little bit. The pitchers have been amazing, all the starters and the bullpen. I think they’re a big reason why we started the winning streak. But it’s a lot of fun, we just go day by day and see how long we can stretch this streak.”
Not many players on the A’s roster have World Series experience, but Andrus does, having played in the Fall Classic in 2010 and 2011 with the Texas Rangers, and he sees similarities between this squad and those Texas teams.
“We’re in a great spot right now and we still have a few guys who haven’t turned it on the engines yet,” Andrus said. “Olson and Canha and Jed kind of pulling the whole offense so far this year. And as soon as myself and [Matt Chapman] and the rest of the guys, we get it going, it’s gonna be even more fun. Yeah, it bring me a lot of good memories, especially how close of a group it is in the clubhouse and how much we care for each other. I think it’s a really good thing to have, especially early in the year, because you know as the season keeps going and everybody starts feeling better and getting looser, it’s going to get better.”
If the A’s complete the sweep of the Orioles on Sunday, they’ll take a 14-game winning streak to Tampa Bay for a possible ALCS preview with the Rays.
Based on how Bassitt, Andrus and the rest of the A’s are feeling right now, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if they come home next Thursday riding an 18-game winning streak.