Game 154 wrapup: You can smell the champagne, and then it’s on to a week of questions

In for John Hickey …

One win and a Rangers loss. Or two wins and to hell with the Rangers. The A’s are on the doorstep of a second straight A.L. West division title, it’d definitely going to happen, and maybe the only surprising thing about that is that so many of them are unprepared for the scenario of a possible clinch Saturday, which would involve beating up on the Twins again and then waiting around — perhaps several hours — to see if the Rangers lose again to Kansas City.

As I wrote in the game story, the A’s have never really encountered this kind of clinching situation in their Oakland history. In 1992, they clinched the division on an off-day, and everybody simply gathered at a sports bar in Jack London Square to celebrate, according to clubhouse manager Steve Vucinich. But winning and then waiting? Never. So it should be intriguing to see what they do.
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Game 154 pre-game notes: Cook has a bullpen therapy session with Melvin, Young

In for John Hickey …

Struggling reliever Ryan Cook worked in the bullpen well before the game under the observation of Bob Melvin and Curt Young. The A’s know they have to get Cook straightened out before the playoffs, but Melvin is confident that will happen.

“If you remember, he went through one of these last year and he got through it,” Melvin said. “He’s a competitor and it bothers him when he’s not contributing how he’d like to. So he’s going to fight his way through it, and he’ll get through it. Sean Doolittle went through a little bit of a tough time, and so will Cookie.”
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Game 150 wrapup: As Melvin said, we’ll just move on, plus Trout’s monster shot and Parker’s amazing run

Not much to say for this one other than the fact that despite a 12-1 shellacking to the Angels, the A’s still reduced their magic number to 7 with Texas’ latest loss (the Rangers may never win again, it appears).

Have to say, though, the Mike Trout home run in the eighth inning off Pedro Figueroa was worth the price of admission, one of the longest blasts I’ve ever seen at the Coliseum, and I go back to the Kingman/McGwire/Canseco days. It hit off a window of a luxury suite in straightaway center, some 30 feet above the 400-foot sign. It was traveling on a line when it caromed off the glass, so one can only surmise how far the ball might have traveled unimpeded. Even to the point of where it struck the window, it was measured at 421 feet from home plate (and that doesn’t account for the height).

Jarrod Parker didn’t have it on this night, but it appears he might have still been feeling some after-effects of the illness that derailed him Sunday and he was pitching with an extra day’s rest. That’s good for most pitchers this time of year, but Parker has had such a magnificent rhythm pitching every five days, and he admitted afterward it felt like it’d been forever since he was out there.

So it’s 19 consecutive starts without a defeat, good for second in franchise history dating back to 1901. Not bad. Parker was 9-0 during that run but the A’s were only 12-7. It’s probably fitting that Parker didn’t equal or surpass Lefty Grove’s phenomenal run in 1931, when he went 21 starts without a defeat. After all, Grove actually won all 21 of those starts with 20 complete games. He also made 10 relief appearances during that streak. He was 31-4 that season.

With apologies to Parker, numbers like that deserve to remain No. 1.

Don’t forget our live chat with outfielder Josh Reddick Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. — a rare chance to connect with an A’s player online.