The Oakland A's have seventeen days to grasp a place in the post-season. With tonight's victory, the Athletics climbed into a tie for the first wild card position and held their 1 1/2 game lead over the third team trying to squeeze into the two-team derby. Of course, a wild-card bid gives you a sudden death, one and done opportunity to be in the real
playoffs, and to the winner comes the team with the best record in the American League, quite likely, tonight's antagonists, the Houston Astros.
But here's the thing; the A's can and have been beating the Astros. This evening, Brett Anderson, who's coach should have turned into a pumpkin two months ago stoned the slugging 'Stros and left the game down only 2-1. That counts as a moral victory (why are they "moral"?) Then Sean Murphy, rookie catcher slugged a home run to tie the game and after the 20-something vets added more runs, the rookiest pitcher, Jesus Luzardo came in to get the A's through the 6th inning. And did so well, he was allowed to pitch the 7th. Then the 8th. That never happens in the big leagues anymore. It definitely doesn't happen in September when the rosters expand to a shit ton, and teams get strategic, bringing in new relief pitchers every time the wind shifts.
. A's manager Bob Melvin went way old school in having Luzardo, in the very first big league game in his life
go long. And then to prove that everything the skipper touched tonight turned to gold, put closer Liam Hendriks in the game, which is awesome, because all Hendriks does is throw strikes, making him the most relaxing reliever we've had in eons.
The A's have one more game for the rest of the regular season against a winning team--and it is tomorrow at Houston. Rookies are shoring up this team, in its high profile moment-- Seth Brown, A.J. Puk and tonight's heroes are getting us very excited about 2020 in 2019. We'll keep the time machine in neutral for now. The A's won't catch the Astros during the regular season, which is why Oakland fans are counting on an irregular one to finish