By Joe Stiglich
Sunday, September 30th, 2012 at 1:36 pm in Uncategorized.
There’s so much up in the air right now regarding the American League playoff situation. But what we know for sure: With the Angels beating the Rangers in the first game of a doubleheader, the A’s can’t clinch a playoff spot today. However, the Rangers’ loss means the A’s will still be alive for the division title as Texas arrives Monday for a three-game series to close the regular season. If the A’s win today and Texas loses its nightcap, the A’s will be just one game behind. If they win and Texas wins, they’ll be two out. And if the A’s lose and Texas wins, they would be three out and need to sweep the Rangers to force a Thursday tiebreaker.
Something worth considering: How much will the A’s celebrate (or should they celebrate) if they clinch a wild card spot while the division title is still a possibility? Would a champagne celebration take their focus away from trying to beat Texas and capture the A.L. West crown? I asked A’s manager Bob Melvin if he would want his team to let loose if they nail down a wild card while the division title hasn’t been decided.
“My feeling is if you get into the postseason, you should be able to celebrate, and that goes for any team,” Melvin said.
We’ll see how it unfolds. So little is set in stone, which makes things pretty exciting.
–Travis Blackley will start Tuesday against Texas despite struggling mightily in his past two starts, Melvin confirmed.
“I don’t know that we have any other options,” Melvin said. “And look, everybody goes through some tough stretches. I think there’s a lot more played on to it because (he’s struggled) recently. If it’s halfway through the season, he’s not coming out of the game in the second inning because we don’t have the resources to go that deep in our bullpen. He’s done some good things for us. I talked to him yesterday about redirecting his thoughts and trying to revert back and think about the good things he’s done this year and not get too consumed with the last couple of games.”
A’s — Crisp CF, Drew SS, Cespedes LF, Moss 1B, Reddick RF, Donaldson 3B, Smith DH, Kottaras C, Pennington 2B; Milone LHP.
Mariners — Gutierrez CF, Wells RF, Seager 3B, Montero C, Smoak 1B, Saunders LF, Olivo DH, Triunfel 2B, Ryan SS; Ramirez RHP.