Oakland Athletics Roundup: Thursday, October 8
Last night, the Cubs and Pirates met in Pittsburgh to square off in the National League Wild Card Game. Much like Tuesday night’s AL game, a former Oakland Athletics’ player played a pivotal role in the outcome.
Well, saying it was a former Athletics’ “player” is a bit of a stretch. Top shortstop prospect Addison Russell was never a star for the A’s, because Billy Beane dealt him to the Cubs in a blockbuster trade last summer. But Russell could have been a star – he’s certainly become one in Chicago.
Russell’s offensive output wasn’t great on Tuesday – he went 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, and didn’t get the opportunity to score or steal. He also made an error while fielding a sixth-inning grounder, allowing the Pirates to load the bases. But on the very next at-bat, Russell initiated a fantastic double-play ball to escape the inning and maintain the shutout, helping the Cubs go on to a 4-0 victory over the Pirates, who lost their second straight Wild Card appearance at home. Perhaps next year, Pittsburgh should try to avoid clinching home field advantage. It hasn’t worked out well for them.
In Case You Missed It:
Who Was the A’s 2015 Team MVP? – Don’t forget to read our first-ever edition of our weekly staff debate! This week, we argue over which A’s player would be deserving of a 2015 team MVP award – and some of the answers were quite surprising. Read the explanations, then take our poll and voice your own opinion in the comments.
What Is Max Muncy’s Role For the 2016 Season? – Max Muncy is an intriguing player, given his potential combined with his limited contributions at the major league level this season. But what about next year? Steven Luke explains what the best possible role for Muncy would be next season.
1972 Oakland Athletics’ Championship: You Never Forget Your First – Remember when the A’s won it all in 1972? I certainly wasn’t around for that particular season, but luckily, Rich Paloma is here to tell us all about the glory of the ’72 playoffs. Be sure to check out his trip down memory lane.
Around the Web:
Scout.com: A’s Instructional League Photo Gallery – Want to see more photos like the ones in the tweets above? Scout.com has a whole page full of them to check out. Fall instructs are at the halfway point, so be sure to follow along with them next week.
Athletics Nation: Luke Gregerson and a Reminder that Baseball Doesn’t Always Make Sense: In Wednesday’s morning roundup, we talked about how great Luke Gregerson was in this year’s Wild Card matchup compared to how detrimental he was in last year’s game. Here, Athletics Nation goes in depth on what happened in 2014 compared to what happened Tuesday night.