Another year, another disappointing October for the Oakland A’s. At least, that is how the postseason has shaped up thus far.
This is not how October was supposed to go for the Oakland A’s. At least, not this year.
The A’s had built themselves up for 2020. Their defense was stellar at the corners of the infield, and Ramon Laureano had emerged as one of the best defensive outfielders in the game. While there may have been some questions in the rotation, their buzzsaw of a bullpen was expected to be more than enough to make up for any issues.
Meanwhile, the A’s seemingly had a path towards the postseason. The Astros had been worn down by free agency and injuries, their once vaunted rotation a shell of itself and the bullpen was comprised of rookies and castoffs. This was to be the A’s time.
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And it was during the regular season. They easily won the AL West, the only team in the division to finish above .500. The A’s also seemed to exorcise their postseason demons in the first round, coming back from the brink of elimination to roar past the White Sox and advance to the ALDS.
There, the A’s were set to face their divisional rivals – the Astros. In theory, this was the matchup Oakland wanted as the Astros were 29-31 in the regular season. Yes, they had dispatched the Twins in two games, but Minnesota has also lost 18 consecutive playoff games. Instead, this series has been a nightmare.
Game One fell apart on one simple play. Marcus Semien‘s error opened the floodgates, as the A’s vaunted bullpen was unable to shut the Astros down afterwards. Sean Manaea was unable to hold Houston down, being touched up for a pair of homers in his 4.1 innings. October is starting to follow a familiar refrain, and it is one that would hurt even more given the opponent.
The Oakland A’s were supposed to march through the postseason. Instead, this October is starting to look familiar.