Athletics

Matt Chapman makes public plea to A's fans after win over Mariners

Matt Chapman makes public plea to A's fans after win over Mariners

OAKLAND -- The Oakland A’s are good. In fact, they might be really good, but you wouldn’t know it by the number of fans streaming in the turnstiles. While the vibe around the team is amazing, the players are starting to notice the lack of support and they are starting to get vocal about the issue.

Matt Chapman is the latest A’s player to step up and make a public plea to the Oakland fanbase. After posting multiple highlight reel defensive plays to go with three doubles, three runs and a pair of RBI, the second-year third basemen topped his night off with a pointed message.

“I just want to use this time to just encourage people in Oakland to come out, man,” the 25-year-old star said on the A’s telecast following the A’s 7-6 win on Monday night. “All the fans and support we can get, we can really appreciate it. Tonight, we’re fighting ‘til the very end against the Mariners and I just wish we can get some people out here, man. We’re fun to watch. We really want our fans to come out and support us, it’d be great.”

Chapman is 100-percent correct. This is an exciting and fun team to watch. They play hard. They hit home runs. They hustle all over the field and they have one of the best bullpens in major league baseball.

The announced crowd of 10,400 fans is not what you would expect to see when a team is in the thick of a postseason chase. With the win, the A’s moved to 71-48 on the season. They trail the Houston Astros by just two games for the lead in the West and they have a 2.5 game lead over Seattle for the wildcard.

Chapman is on the cusp of being the next superstar. He’s a player that fans would love to see play his entire career in green and gold. There is a history of players like him leaving long before they should, but at some point fans need to show up and appreciate him for the special player he is and the unique team that the A’s front office has assembled. 

This club is pacing for 97 wins. They have momentum and they are in the midst of a long homestand against division rivals fighting for a playoff spot. It’s probably time for the fanbase to come to the ballpark and show them the love and respect they deserve.

Oakland or New York? A's players debate AL Wild Card game's location

Oakland or New York? A's players debate AL Wild Card game's location

Entering the final week of the regular season, it appears all but certain that the A's and Yankees will face off in the American League Wild Card Game. The only question remaining is which team will host it.

As of Monday, it would be the Yankees. New York leads Oakland by 1 1/2 games and owns the tiebreaker. But how much does home-field advantage actually matter in a winner-take-all game?

Since Major League Baseball introduced the Wild Card Game in 2012, road teams actually have gone 7-5 (4-2 in the National League and 3-3 in the American League). But the A's still say they would prefer to play the game at the Coliseum.

“I think we're comfortable with both, but at the same time, it would be more of an advantage to play here because this place is so loud,” outfielder Ramón Laureano told NBC Sports California. “It's really fun to play here when it's packed.”

Said designated hitter Khris Davis: “We'll embrace anything that comes our way. We'll accept the challenge if it's on the road, but if it's at home, I think we'd like that a little bit more. Just being in front of our own fans, there's nothing like home.”

Oakland's home and road records are similar this season. The A's finished their home schedule 50-31, and they're currently 44-31 on the road with six to play. But the offense has been significantly better away from the Coliseum.

[RELATED: Yankees star Didi Gregorius suffers wrist injury]

In 75 road games, Oakland has scored 406 runs, an average of 5.4 per game. At home, they totaled just 369 runs in 81 games, or 4.6 per contest. The A's also have belted a league-leading 123 home runs on the road, compared to 91 at home.

The pitching numbers present a different story, however. Oakland has allowed just 3.8 runs per game at home this season, compared to 4.4 on the road.

“You always want to play at home because this can be a real home-field advantage and we've played really well at home in the second half,” A's manager Bob Melvin said. “But if, hypothetically, we're in the playoffs and we play a Wild Card Game, we're not afraid to play on the road. We've done really well on the road this year, and our offensive numbers are a little bit (better).”

The statistical splits are more dramatic for the Yankees. New York has been dominant at Yankee Stadium, finishing its home schedule with a 53-28 record, while going 42-32 on the road. The Yankees' bats especially thrived at home, averaging 5.6 runs per game, compared to 4.7 on the road.

However, New York's pitching staff performed better outside of hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. At home, the Yankees allowed an average of 4.3 runs per game. On the road, that number dropped to 3.8.

You can break down the numbers any way you want, but in a one-game scenario, all the stats go out the window. While both teams would prefer to host the game, they have each shown the ability to beat quality opponents on the road.

A's notes: Failures with runners in scoring position an oddity in Twins series

A's notes: Failures with runners in scoring position an oddity in Twins series

OAKLAND -- The A's went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position in Sunday's 5-1 loss, finishing their three-game series with the Twins an astounding 0-for-21 in that stat.

“That does not happen very often with us,” A's manager Bob Melvin said. “We're usually pretty good with runners in scoring position. We were not this series.

"Usually those things tend to even out. Unfortunately they didn't even out today.”

For the season, Oakland ranks sixth in MLB with a .268 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Some other notes from the day at the Coliseum ...

-- A's right-hander Trevor Cahill has allowed three or more runs in five consecutive starts, and he owns an ERA of 7.45 during that stretch. But Melvin thought he looked better against the Twins.

“I actually thought his delivery and his stuff -- the movement on his stuff -- were really good, some of the best we've seen,” Melvin said. “All things considered, I think it was a step in the right direction for him. The last time we saw him, he was completely out of whack and hurting a little bit. You could tell within his delivery, it just wasn't smooth. But I think he looked OK today.”

Cahill agreed" “My stuff was a lot better. I was able to command a lot better for the most part. I just couldn't get that out when I had to.”

-- Matt Olson blasted his 28th home run of the season to extend his career high. Those 28 homers also lead all American League first basemen.

"It's nice to see some results, for sure,” Olson said. “The more the merrier, but wins are No. 1 right now.”

-- A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy threw out his 27th attempted base stealer of the season, extending his major league lead. Lucroy also recorded his 79th assist of the season, an Oakland record for catchers.

-- J.B. Wendelken pitched a scoreless ninth to lower his ERA to 0.71. The young righty has allowed only one earned run in 12 2/3 innings for Oakland this season.

-- A's starting pitchers have a streak of 37 consecutive games of seven innings or fewer. A's starters have pitched 807 1/3 innings this season. The fewest in a non-strike season in A's history is 858 2/3 in 1997.

-- The A's fell to 39-20 since the All-Star break, still the best record in Major League Baseball.