Oakland Athletics' late season struggle fuelled by fear

Published Add your comment

Football News

The Oakland Athletics are in a desperate position and have slipped from division champion certainties to Wild Card dropouts in the past five weeks.

On August 8 the A’s were top of the American League West division with a healthy four game advantage over Los Angeles Angels. No less than six players had recently returned from the All-Star game and manager Bob Melvin anticipated a successful end to the regular season.

How things have changed.

Difficult few weeks

Last night’s 1-0 defeat to Chicago White Sox saw Melvin’s team slip 10 games behind the Angels in the AL West and now Oakland are sweating over their Wild Card slot.

According to, eight of the last nine Oakland games (going back to September 2) have all been decided by a single run. They have lost seven of those eight.

All-Star Scott Kazmir choked in the sixth inning and conceded a home run off Marcus Semien which eventually settled the game after an eight inning shutout by White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale.

Race for the playoffs

With 16 games left until the end of the September, six teams (including the stuttering Athletics) are separated by just five games and only two will reach the postseason.

The Athletics lead the race for the Wild Card spots but are the most out of form team of the six. Oakland are one game ahead of Detroit who currently possess the other Wild Card spot and 1 1/2 games ahead of Seattle, who they travel to next for a three-game weekend series.

It would take a brave person to call the two teams who will reach the playoffs from the A’s, Detroit, Seattle, Toronto, Cleveland and the Yankees.

Honest from the A's

Speaking to, A’s manager Melvin gave a very honest assessment of his team’s position.

“We’re playing for our lives now. Just the way it is. We put ourselves in this position,” said Melvin.

The Athletics appear to be short of any confidence as the season closes in and Melvin is yet to put his finger on why this is.

Related Articles

New strike zone tool to blame for drop in offense
A pair of overlooked aces dominate Thursday
LA Angels can now start planning for the postseason

Last night the Athletics came up against one of the best pitchers of 2014 in the form of Chris Sale (12-3). The starting pitcher tossed a game-winning eight inning shutout to lower his year’s ERA to 1.99.

The Athletics are unlikely to face anyone of Sale’s calibre in Seattle but they need to start taking their chances and getting bat on ball in the tight games, such as last night when they managed just three hits all game.

Oakland must not be gripped by the fear of seeing all their fine work from April to mid-August become meaningless and they must begin tonight against one of their closest rivals.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

MLB Playoffs
Los Angeles Angels
Chicago White Sox
Seattle Mariners
MLB American League
Oakland Athletics

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again