Coincidence or not - and it's much more likely not - the A's stretch of eight losses in nine games ended when Yoenis Céspedes returned Sunday after a stint on the disabled list.
No player impacts Oakland's lineup as much as Céspedes does. Coco Crisp comes close, though. With his speed in the leadoff spot and in center field, Crisp can leave his imprint on a game in many ways.
Now, the A's must do without Crisp for a while. Before Wednesday's 5-4 loss to the Angels, they placed Crisp (strained left hamstring) and pitcher Brett Anderson (sprained right ankle) on the 15-day DL.
"We're a much better team, obviously, when Coco's here," manager Bob Melvin said in his postgame news conference, "but we have the resources to continue to play well."
One of those resources, outfielder Chris Young, has missed the past two games because of a strained left quad he incurred in the 15th inning of the A's 10-8 win in 19 innings Monday night/Tuesday morning.
Melvin believes Young will be ready to go when the A's open a 10-game road trip at Yankee Stadium on Friday.
With Crisp out Wednesday, Melvin put Jed Lowrie in the leadoff spot and Céspedes in center field. Céspedes slipped on the warning track trying to track down a drive off the bat of Mike Trout in the eighth inning. Trout benefited with a triple and then scored the Angels' final run.
That put Oakland down 5-2. The A's scored twice in the eighth, and Céspedes began the ninth by getting hit by an Ernesto Frieri pitch.