It doesn't matter how you got there, it’s just that you got there. Everybody has zero wins and zero losses; it’s playoff baseball ladies and gentlemen.
No team will be more happy to see a clean slate than the Oakland Athletics, who owned the best record in baseball on July 31. That day, the front office traded star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes for star pitcher Jon Lester and since have crashed into a tailspin, barley hanging onto a wildcard spot.
Big Time Game
Naturally people will point to the Lester-Cespedes trade as the reason Oakland stopped scoring runs and beating teams but they didn’t fall out of the playoffs.
Tonight they take on the Kansas City Royals in Missouri in a win or go home one off for the right to play the Los Angeles Angels.
Taking the hill tonight is Lester, hoping to prove why general manager Billy Beane flipped a star outfielder for a star pitcher because an ace can single-handedly win you a playoff game. Lester is dueling against James Shields for the Royals who is having a great season. Both Lester and Shields are free agents to be, so whoever loses may have played their last game for their respective clubs.
Oakland’s woes have been mainly contributed to a stuttering offensive lineup since Cespedes departed, though the two may not be correlated. The Cuban defect was the most feared hitter in that lineup but it didn’t consist of a bunch of scrubs, either.
Josh Donaldson boasts a .255 average to go along with 29 homers and 98 runs batted in. Brandon Moss has 25HR 81RBI and a meager .234 batting average. The A’s two sluggers need to hit the homers they were hitting with Cespedes than the strikeouts they’re accumulating without him.
Beane has been known to make calculated gambles and is never afraid to roll the dice. He swings for the fences every time he’s up to bat and the ball is still in the air for the Lester trade, if he wins tonight then it’ll be that much closer to clearing the center field wall.