Athletics

Presented By A'sPlayoffs2019
Athletics

OAKLAND -- Wednesday night will mark the A's first home playoff game since 2013, and it's shaping up to be one to remember.

With more than 50,000 tickets already sold, the Coliseum appears on target to sell out -- yes, even Mount Davis.

"It's going to be a football-type crowd," A's manager Bob Melvin surmised. "It can get pretty raucous here, so we're excited about having it here."

Added Oakland outfielder Mark Canha: "I'm very excited. I've heard that this place is extremely special this time of year, so I'm excited to see it. We didn't get to taste it last year, but it will be awesome, I expect."

It's not just the A's who are expecting an electric atmosphere Wednesday night. Rays starting pitcher Charlie Morton spent the previous two seasons in the AL West with the Houston Astros, so he knows how loud the Coliseum can get, even when it's not sold out.

“I don’t know if it’s the acoustics here or what," Morton said. "I mean, I know some of the Oakland fans are pretty rowdy. It gets really loud here and it doesn’t really take that many people for it to get loud, to get real loud. So 50,000 people in the stadium, it’s gonna be loud.”

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was in agreement, suggesting that this could be a unique challenge for his squad.

"This might be different than what we've seen all season long," he said. "We know that there are a lot of Raiders fans in this area. They're a very entertaining bunch and we expect similar with the Oakland fans. They're really, really good fans."

 

Home-field advantage hasn't always meant much in wild-card games. Even with the Nationals' 4-3 win Tuesday over the Brewers, road teams have won eight of 15 games since the current format began in 2012.

But for the A's, playing at home could make all the difference in the world. Oakland lost wild-card games in 2014 and 2018, both times as the road team. This will be their first try at the Coliseum.

"Our home record is good here," Melvin said. "We have quite a few walk-offs here. We play well at the end of games here. So there are a lot of things to be excited about as far as that goes."

To that point, Oakland's 52-27 record at the Coliseum this season was the fourth-best home record in MLB. On Wednesday, that home-field advantage will elevate to another level.

"It'll be cool," said A's closer Liam Hendriks. "Pound for pound, I think A's fans are the most vocal in the league. If you put a roof on this thing, it'd be coming off."

[RELATED: Why Nats' wild win should remind A's how thin margins are]

A's first baseman Matt Olson certainly agrees with Hendriks.

"It should be awesome. I would think that it's going to be a pretty big crowd, and if it's big, it will be rowdy. So I think we're all excited to see the support that we get."