Athletics

In pursuit of a playoff spot, A's practice accountability

Athletics
James Kaprielian

In order for the A's to find their way into the postseason, it will require every single player on the roster to do their job. 

They control their own destiny. 

Following yet another frustrating loss Tuesday night -- the A's fourth in a row -- Oakland continues to fall further and further out of the American League playoff picture. 

Now in third place in the AL West -- seven games behind the Houston Astros and half a game behind the Seattle Mariners -- it's looking like the second wild-card spot is Oakland's most likely scenario for sneaking its way into the playoffs. Currently three-and-a-half games behind the Boston Red Sox, with both the Toronto Blue Jays and Mariners in front of them, the A's are in a crowded fight for October baseball in the American League. 

Losing to the Chicago White Sox 6-3 on Tuesday night, starting pitcher James Kaprielian (four innings pitched, five hits, one earned run, two walks, four strikeouts) preached a message of accountability in his postgame press conference. 

"I just think everyone needs to go do their job, that’s what it is at the end of the day," Kaprielian told reporters postgame. "For me, all I can do is worry about putting together a successful, quality start and giving my team a chance to win. I didn’t do a good enough job of that tonight. The other four days, my job is to prepare and work hard for the next start, be a good teammate and try to uplift these guys and bring some sort of energy in the dugout.

 

"I know everyone's doing the same and that’s what it comes down to. We’re all pulling the same side of the rope, and we all want the same thing."

First baseman Matt Olson preached a similar message:

“Obviously we’re on the outside looking in, as of now," Olson said postgame. "We know what we can do, we know that we have the talent in here. We truly believe that we are a team that truly should be in the playoffs and should make a long run in the playoffs. We gotta pick it up from the last four games. We (play like that) and we’re not going to like the results. It’s a lot easier said than done. We’re not pressing, but from here on out we just gotta play better if we want to win a World Series. It’s that simple.”

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It's do or die for the A's right now. With 24 games remaining, they simply cannot afford another lengthy losing streak. In fact, they need quite literally the opposite. 

So what do they need to do in order to spark one of their infamous winning streaks?

“That’s the great thing about baseball," Olson said. "It could be one pitching performance, one swing of the bat, a walk-off win, it could be anything. It could be just a good, solid win. That’s the beauty about baseball, there’s many different ways to win and many different ways to build momentum. We gotta learn from this rough patch, flush it and move on and get back to what we do.”