The Athletics dreamt of winning back-to-back AL West titles when the 2021 MLB season began. But as the calendar turned to September, those hopes appeared to be faint.
Those dreams officially ended Monday night when the A's lost to the Seattle Mariners 13-4 at T-Mobile Park, ending their chances of winning the AL West for a second straight season.
While the A's were mathematically eliminated from AL West contention, they still are alive in the AL wild-card race. But barring a stunning turn of events over the final five games of the season, the A's also will see their three-year run of playoff appearances come to an end. The loss to the Mariners leaves the A's 3 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox for the second AL wild-card spot. Seattle and the Toronto Blue Jays are ahead of Oakland, so the A's will need a lot of help to sneak into the postseason.
The A's were riding high after sweeping the AL West-leading Houston Astros at home over the weekend, but Monday's blowout loss brought them back down to earth.
Before the season started, A's third baseman Matt Chapman said he believed this was the best roster he had been a part of since making his MLB debut in 2017, and that this club was capable of winning 100 games.
Instead, at 85-72 after Monday's loss, the A's likely won't even get to 90 wins this season and are looking at a third-place finish in the AL West.
This isn't how the A's envisioned the 2021 season playing out. With the playoffs seemingly out of reach, they'll have a long offseason to figure out where things went wrong and try to bounce back in 2022.