Royals celebrate their AL wild card win over the A’s on Sept. 30.
Why is Kansas City the team that’s waiting for the San Francisco Giants in the World Series?
You can blame it on (or thank, depending on how you feel about it) the Oakland A’s. So says Don Wakamatsu, the former Seattle manager who is now the bench coach for the Royals, working under manager Ned Yost.
After ending a four-game losing streak on July 22, the Royals had steamrolled everyone through Sept. 7. Kansas City used a blistering 31-13 run to go from eight games out in the American League Central to 1½ games up on the Detroit Tigers
The Royals ran out of juice at that point, falling out of the Central lead while limping home with a 10-10 record in the final 20 games. If the Mariners (9-11) and the A’s (8-12) had done even a little better over the same stretch, Kansas City’s stretch of missing the post-season would have made it to an even 30 years and Oakland and Seattle would have been the American League’s wild card combatants.
Adam Dunn wasn’t in the A’s lineup Tuesday vs. Royals. Manager Bob Melvin likes him as an option off the bench.
Manager Bob Melvin made one prudent choice (with an asterisk) and one surprising choice in setting his lineup for the A’s wild card game tonight with the Royals.
The surprise is that DH Adam Dunn is on the bench. Brandon Moss, who generally plays left field when Dunn is the DH, is the designated hitter tonight and Sam Fuld is in left.
Then came the big surprise. Moss homered to give the A’s a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. He had no homers in his previous 25 at-bats (11 games) and just two since July 24 (154 at-bats).
Is Moss feeling better now since his cortisone shot in the waning days of the regular season? Maybe so.
It’s clearly a move to put the A’s best defense on the field. Kansas City runs as well as any team in the game, and with Fuld and right fielder Josh Reddick flanking center fielder Coco Crisp, the A’s have their best coverage outfield going.
So what, exactly, did the A’s accomplish by winning Friday and moving to within one game of securing an American League Wild Card berth?
Perhaps not as much as you might think. Or maybe much more.
The A’s can still host the Tuesday Wild Card game. They can go on the road for the Tuesday Wild Card game. Or they can miss out on Tuesday all together.
Here’s how it all breaks down:
Remember back in the 1989 Oakland-San Francisco World Series, baseball took a back seat to the Loma Prieta earthquake?
Something of the same is happening in Boston these days. The Red Sox game Friday night against Kansas City Royals was postponed with parts of Boston and is suburbs in lockdown while the authorities pursue a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.