Aug 17, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) walks to the dugout after being replaced in the seventh inning of their game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Braves won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
As a fan of the Oakland Athletics for my entire life, most of my baseball memories have been filled with heartache. Yet, even in the tumultuous relationship with my favorite sports team, they have provided many great memories. One that ranks high on that list was a packed house chanting “Let’s Go Oak-Land” after a game five defeat in the 2012 ALDS.
Many are writing the Oakland Athletics off at this point after seeing their division lead slip away, and with the A’s clinging to a Wild Card berth based solely on how fantastic they played in the first half of the season.
I am writing this as a fan, because this is a fan site after all.
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What if the A’s take two of three from Seattle over the weekend? While it wouldn’t put the Mariners completely in the rearview mirror, it would allow for some breathing room.
What if the Angels actually end up helping the A’s by beating Seattle four or five of their seven remaining games? During those two series, the A’s will be facing the Texas Rangers. The A’s should be able to gain some ground there. Add in four games between Seattle and a hopeful Toronto team, and the A’s should be looking at a postseason berth.
What if the A’s face the Royals in the Wild Card game? Kansas City has cooled off since their hot August stretch, and are 6-4 in September. While that’s still better than the A’s record of 3-7 this month, the A’s would have Jon Lester on the mound. Lester accounted for both A’s victories against KC in August, and the A’s outscored the Royals 19-6 in those two games.
What if the A’s face the Angels in the ALDS? The A’s starting pitching has been on fire lately. Between Sonny Gray, Jeff Samardzija and Scott Kazmir this week, starting pitchers have allowed three runs. Maybe I’m in the minority on this one, but the Angels don’t scare me. They’ve been hot, and the A’s have been ice cold. If/when they meet up, there will be some middle ground.
That’s as far as I’ll go, but the way that I’m seeing it right now, the A’s are just testing their fans. Yes, the offense has been cold. Frigid even. Yet, it can’t get much worse. If they’re able to scratch across two runs a game, that could be enough to secure some playoff wins.
Maybe I’m too optimistic. But I’d rather be optimistic and believe in this team until the season is officially over, than give up on them when things are at the bleakest for the sake of being right. Besides, who else are we going to root for? The Raiders? I’m not rooting for baseball to be over yet. If this team does fail like everyone thinks they will, then this could be the last competitive team we see in Oakland for awhile.
What if this is the magical season we’ve all been waiting for, but they’re just taking the scenic route?