Your Oakland Athletics are gaining no ground in the A.L. West, with a series of one-run losses and head-scratching daytime performances (they’ve won once under the sun), and that all but negates some amazing individual efforts — most notably by resurgent catcher and A’s fan favorite Stephen Vogt.

“Everything Bagel” hit a Denny’s Grand Slam in the first inning of a game against the Twins, only for the team to lose later that night due to (yet another) shaky bullpen performance.

“Guys said it was about 2 feet from the balcony and about 3 feet short of the top of the wall,” Vogt said after the game about a potential game-winner, “and I think that just about sums up our night. It’s frustrating. There’s no hiding it anymore.” All-Star ballots are already being cast, so do your Civic Duty and Vote Vogt.

Back to the basics.

Bob Melvin has watched his bullpen falter time & time again — Oakland ranks 27th in Save Percentage (44.44%), 27th in Saves (4), and 21st in Team ERA (4.15). But they are #5 in one category: Blown Saves (5).

With two hours remaining before Game 31 in Seattle, here’s how your White Elephants stack up:

  • The Athletics’ hottest hitter is Brett Lawrie, who has been nothing short of Clutch this season for the A’s. Over the course of the week, he had a .429 / .429 / .536 line, which included a two-out game winner in the sixth against the Twins’ Brian Duensing.
  • The A’s (12-18) remain behind the pack in fourth place in the AL West race. The team is 3-4 on its current road trip, and has lost an astounding eight games by a single run — most in the MLB.
  • Oakland’s pitching situation needs improvement, and fast. MLB Trade Rumors may lead us to believe Scott Kazmir is on the chopping block, but he is an Asset to this team. And I don’t think front-office management is in a “sell” mode with their Assets, rather I think it’s more likely they’re looking to “buy”.
  • In one feel-good story for the A’s, reliever Angel Castro became part of the 40-man roster for the first time on an MLB team at age 32. He’s got an ERA of 3.79 and 20 K’s over 19 innings in Nashville.
  • The A’s made five transactions this week. OF Cody Ross cleared waivers and was released to make room for OF Coco Crisp on the roster. In a corresponding move OF Craig Gentry was sent down to Nashville. RHP’s Ryan Cook and Chad Smith came up from Nashville, before Smith got sent back down after an awful outing. The contracts of RHP’s Angel Castro and Fernando Rodriguez were selected from Nashville, the latter of whom pitched two innings of one-hit ball and had 4 K’s in his first relief appearance. To make room for him R.J. Alvarez was sent back down, in addition to OF Alex Hassan being cut.
  • Here’s a fun fact: The A’s 1989 World Series MVP, pitcher Dave Stewart grew up in a neighborhood right by the O.Co Coliseum.

White Elephant Weekly is edited by Emily Thompson, who translates, writes, and processes archives in Seattle, WA.