No Need to Panic in Oakland


It is a simple fact of life as a fan of any given MLB team. That one point during a season when it appears all hope is lost, and fans beat the panic button into oblivion. I’ve tried to maintain some level of an even keel over this season, and feel like I’ve done a decent job of it, but without a doubt there are always times when you let your judgment slip. I bring this up because now could be one of those times when fans begin to panic just a bit.

September 25, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (36) pitches during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

As the A’s head to Seattle to take on the Mariners in the final series of the 2013 regular season, they are licking their wounds from a lost series in Anaheim. They busted out in a big way against Garrett Richards and company on Monday night in a win, but scored all of one run in the final two games in losing efforts. They dropped the first series they played after clinching the AL West, and snapped a nice five game winning streak in the process. It didn’t look good, and a three run lead for the Angels appeared to be a guaranteed loss no matter what, which it was.

The bottom line though is that they were shut down by two pitchers who have had perhaps the most success against the A’s over the years, Jason Vargas and Jered Weaver. Vargas had gotten roughed up just last week versus the A’s, but has historically had a level of success against them. Weaver meanwhile has simply dominated the A’s in his career and simply sought to pad his resume against the green and gold.

Considering their opponents, and considering the circumstances, I can’t see myself getting worked up at all about these two losses. Sure I would love to see the A’s tearing it up still as they head into October, but with the 4 day layoff after the end of the season, any momentum they might have built would have been gone anyway. They looked a bit flat over these two games, and it’s hard to criticize them for it.

Think about the grind that is the MLB schedule, and realize that in clinching the AL West, the A’s reached their first and perhaps most difficult milestone. While the bigger prize still remains beyond the horizon, it’s understandable that they might take their foot off the gas for a few days. They’re still battling the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers in the race for the top record in the AL, and the goal for the A’s is to make sure they get home field advantage in the first round of the postseason and beyond. So they won’t want to take too much time to relax.

They’ll be fine, although perhaps not on Friday when they face Felix Hernandez. If they can put up some crooked numbers again this weekend, we’ll all realize how silly it is to jump to these crazy conclusions.