NEW YORK — The A's were tied for fifth in Major League Baseball during the regular season with a .266 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Wednesday night, they went 0-for-6 in those situations, leaving nine men on base in their 7-2 American League Wild Card Game loss to the Yankees.
“Their pitching showed up tonight,” said designated hitter Khris Davis, who produced the A's only offense with a two-run homer in the eighth inning. “They made good pitches when we had baserunners on, and we've just got to tip our cap to them this one.”
“It's frustrating,” A's manager Bob Melvin added. “We just didn't do enough offensively tonight. You do have to give them credit. They pitched really well.”
[RATTO: Simple answer for A's is ...]
The fourth and fifth innings, in particular, proved costly for the A's. They loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but Yankees starter Luis Severino struck out Marcus Semien to end the inning. In the fifth, the A's put runners on first and second with no outs for the middle of their lineup, but Yankees reliever Dellin Betances came in and retired Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie and Davis to strand the runners.
“We had runners on,” A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “We had the bases loaded once, we had runners on first and second with nobody out, but couldn't get that big knock. ... They pitched us well.”
Added Melvin: “Severino got off to a good start, and Betances came in and shut it down. After that, other than the one swing from KD, they just shut a really good offense down.”
The Yankees, on the other hand, cashed in on their limited opportunities, going 2-for-4 with runners in scoring position and leaving just three runners on base.
In playoff baseball, that can make the difference between winning and losing, and it sure did Wednesday.