Is the Oakland Athletics recent success sustainable?

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: Matt Chapman #26 celebrates with Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics after scoring during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 27, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 27: Matt Chapman #26 celebrates with Mark Canha #20 of the Oakland Athletics after scoring during the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 27, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Athletics have been red hot as of late and are fresh off a 10-game winning streak. But is their recent hot stretch sustainable or is it all a mirage?

Don’t look now but the Oakland Athletics are the hottest team in baseball. Even after Tuesday night’s frustrating loss that ended the team’s 10-game (sort of) winning streak, the Athletics remain scorching hot.

Yes, this is the same A’s team that was 5-12 in their previous 17 games. The same A’s team that sat at just 19-25 and was struggling to stay out of last place in the AL West. And this is the same A’s team that entered the Detroit Tigers series having lost 11 of their last 12 road contests.

But then something miraculous happened. The A’s didn’t just win — they won big.

After putting up 17 runs on the Tigers in the first game of the series, Oakland went on to sweep Detroit (again sort of) and outscore their opponents by a combined score of 28-6. Then it was off to face a better team in the Cleveland Indians as the A’s road stretch continued.

But just as their road trip continued so too did their winning streak.

The A’s took all three games from Cleveland and extended their winning streak to a very solid six games. A trip back home to face the Seattle Mariners culminated in yet another three-game sweep and suddenly the A’s weren’t just back to .500, they were three games above.

A victory over the Los Angeles Angels made it 10 straight victories — the first time the team had done so in 13 years. Suddenly, the Athletics were right in the thick of the AL Wild Card race having completely turned their season around in late May.

While the A’s pitching has certainly been one of the pleasant surprises of this season, it was the offense that finally got going during this recent stretch. From top to bottom, the Athletics lineup showed why they could be one of the deepest in the major leagues as they received production from essentially everyone.

Exclusive interview with former Oakland Athletics pitcher Barry Zito. light. Related Story

Sure, the usual culprits of offensive production came through as Matt Chapman continued his MVP-caliber season while Matt Olson continued to rake since returning from injury. Speaking of returns from injury, designated hitter Mark Canha has come back with a vengeance filling in for the injured home run king himself, Khris Davis, hitting six home runs of his own since his return on May 13th.

But it’s really been the bottom of the lineup that has impressed during this streak. The trio of Jurickson Profar, Ramon Laureano, and, of course, Josh Phegley have turned it on during this stretch with the latter making a strong case for All-Star consideration.

Phegley is slashing .283/.331/.528 at the time of writing and his seven homers and 32 RBI could earn him an All-Star bid even at a stacked American League catcher position. Profar, on the other hand, has finally started to pick it up both offensively and defensively after a brutal start to the season.

More from Oakland Athletics

The team’s pitching has been excellent throughout with the likes of Chris Bassitt, Frankie Montas, and Brett Anderson continuing their strong 2019 campaigns thus far. Even Mike Fiers has been able to turn his season around after a lackluster first few starts this year.

Meanwhile, the A’s bullpen has been one of the best in baseball as their 3.91 ERA is currently good enough for seventh best in the majors. The likes of Blake Treinen, Liam Hendriks, Yusmeiro Petit, and Lou Trivino have been superb locking down the back end of the Athletics bullpen.

But the question still remains, how much of the A’s recent success is sustainable?

If recent history is any indicator, the Athletics could very well continue to succeed as we approach and move past the All-Star break. Their reputation as a “second-half team” will hopefully ring true again this season and their recent winning streak feels somewhat reminiscent of last year.

As for their lineup, it’s obviously foolish to expect the same level of production throughout the remainder of the season. But that doesn’t mean that everything we are seeing is a mirage.

Chapman is one of the best young players in the entire league and, barring injury — *knocks on wood* — he’ll likely continue to play at the level he’s playing at now.

It’s especially encouraging to see the A’s do this without their slugger in the middle of their lineup with Khris Davis still out nursing a hip injury. Once he returns, the Athletics lineup will look even more threatening.

One player that could be in for a bit of regression, however, is catcher Josh Phegley. Phegley is a lifetime .231 hitter — even including this season — and the law of averages would suggest that the 31-year-old will slow down eventually.

More from Golden Gate Sports

Still, with left-handed hitting catcher Chris Herrmann set to return shortly, the A’s catching depth could be better than anyone would have thought going into 2019.

The same regression could be in order for some of the A’s starters. While the Athletics starters currently sit 13th in the MLB with a 4.18 ERA, their 4.66 FIP ranks 21st in the league which could indicate future regression.

Moreover, the aforementioned Anderson has started more than 20 games just twice in his 11-year career and only once since 2009. Injuries have plagued Anderson throughout his career so here’s to hoping he could stay healthy and off the IL this season.

The A’s recent success is encouraging, to say the least. Optimism has finally returned to Bay Area baseball after a worrisome start to the season.

Next. Oakland Athletics: Power ranking each member of the starting rotation. dark

While it’s unreasonable to expect this same level of play throughout the remainder of the season, the Oakland Athletics have shown that they have plenty of life in them and will hopefully remain a regular fixture in the AL Wild Card race as the season progresses.