OAKLAND – winning streaks have to come to an end. But the loss that ended Oakland A’s winning streak in five games was a blow to the heart. With only 12 games left in the regular season and the A’s on the outside looking into the wild card, every loss is a blow to the heart.
The A’s opened their last, decisive homestand not with a bang, but a 4-2 defeat whimper for the Seattle Mariners in the quiet of a crowd of 4,068 after the COVID restriction. The defeat leaves the A’s two games ahead of second wildcard place held by the Toronto Blue Jays. The New York Yankees are half a game behind second and the Boston Red Sox, who were out on Monday, are 1.5 games ahead of first.
“It’s huge. The playoffs are pretty much starting,” said Sean Manaea. “We have to do our part and the last two weeks are going insane.”
The team at this A doesn’t miss the drive – they know the climb ahead of them and the experience of the past three seasons of solidifying the berths after the season has hardened them. Her toughest job began on Monday, seven times against the Mariners and six times against the Houston Astros at home and away. Quite a hurdle to get into the postseason. The Mariners are also within easy reach of a wildcard spot.
You haven’t played a team well. You’re 4-9 against the Astros and Mariners this year. In all fairness, with a 10-9 record against the Texas Rangers, the A score against the American League West wasn’t as dominant as it should be – apart from a 15-4 record against the Los Angeles Angels.
Oakland doesn’t lack the knack for making it – they have cornerstones in Matt Olson, an MVP candidate, and Matt Chapman, a generation defender whose bat can get hotter than anyone else. You have increasing close-of-trade acquisitions; Starling Marte, Josh Harrison, Yan Gomes and Andrew Chafin were irreplaceable in their respective roles and have sometimes led the team to great victories individually.
These pieces came up short on Monday in a listless attempt on the record, which was increased in the few scoring chances of the A. Chad Pinder and Khris Davis combined for back-to-back doubles to open the third inning.
But Elvis Andrus hit a sacrificial bunt to bring Davis to third place, a waste that was made worse when Harrison and Marte hit Mariners starter Tyler Anderson’s first pitches, around the third inning with nothing left to end.
“I think the big leagues are good to score, it’s tough to play in the big league,” said Pinder, who is starting to find his way on the record after a season of injuries. “When people like yours are confident and well positioned, it can be difficult to put a few runs together. That is not an excuse. We have to find a way to do it. We’re running out of time. We have to do it tomorrow. ”
After Anderson was out of the game in the eighth game, the A’s were able to make up for a run on reliever Diego Castillo with three goals in a row from Andrus, Harrison and Marte. Seattle manager Scott Servais called on right-hander Paul Sewald to hit Olson with a view of a slider that hit the outside corner perfectly and Chapman with three straight fastballs to get the runners stranded. The A’s left five on the base, and their shorter at-bats to start the game against Anderson grew larger and offered fewer opportunities against the Mariners’ bullpen.
“Your bullpen has been really good all year round,” said Melvin. “It would have served us better to put a little more pressure on her starter so that we wouldn’t have to fight her bullpen in the last innings. But they did well against us. ”
Manaea, Monday’s starter, didn’t have his best stuff, and the Mariners made him pay dearly. The A’s left-handed starter lasted five innings but gave up eight hits with four runs allowed.
“Not good,” said Manaea. “I felt like I had some good throws, but not good overall.”
Seattle crossed three runs in one inning with four hits and one run – Ty Frances RBI single and Kyle Seager’s two-time double on a 0-2 curveball Manaea wished he had thrown more glove side. Seager drove another run in the fifth inning.
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“Maybe not his best stuff, probably not jumping out of his hand as much as it was in terms of speed,” said manager Bob Melvin. “You made him work hard and he worked hard. At the end of the day, he gave up four runs. He just didn’t hit enough to support him. Not one of his better days, but he fought really hard out there. ”
Domingo Acevedo and Sam Moll treated three innings together to give a taxed bullpen on the day off – with the exception of Deolis Guerra, who pitched a clean inning. Acevedo racked up two strikeouts and allowed a hit in two innings of work, while Moll gave up a hit in a goalless eighth place.
“We have such a workload of six guys with a nine man bullpen, we have to get dues elsewhere or their arms will fall off,” Melvin said.