Starling Marte isn't ready for the Athletics' season to end. Not after his single that gave Oakland a walk-off 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday at the Coliseum.
Marte spoke to NBC Sports California’s Dallas Braden following the victory and made pretty simple statement for the next step.
“I’m ready to go to the playoffs,” Marte said via an interpreter. “Let’s do it.”
Marte later spoke to reporters and said that’s the mentality he has, and the same psyche he’s had during the last month of tough baseball for the A’s.
“To get in there and you know, grind out every single game and try to make it to the playoffs,” Marte said.
For now, the A’s are four games behind in the AL wild-card race with seven games left in the season. Mathematically, it’s not over per se, but it’s pretty close. Their Elimination Number in the AL West is one and their Elimination Number in the wild-card race is four.
“You know it’s a long season and especially now, a long season turns into the last couple of weeks and you just got to come in, grind out and do anything you can to win,” Marte said.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said there’s a sense of desperation now. That has been the case the last week or so.
“We have to win,” Melvin said. “You don’t think any farther out than today’s game, but we know that each and every game we take the field, we have to win, and I think that’s what permeates, you know, certainly in our dugout right now.”
The A’s victorious attitude after the game was short-lived. While “Celebration” by Kool and the Gang, the team's anthem, played as it always does after a win, shortstop Elvis Andrus, who scored the winning run, was lying on his back in obvious pain.
While he was rounding third base heading toward home, Andrus heard a pop in his left ankle, Melvin said after the game. The injury to the shortstop at such a crucial time is a major blow for the A's.
“I mean look we want a game that’s good,” Melvin said. “We may lose one of our toughest guys, he is one tough, tough SOB, so we got our fingers crossed. It’s not something significant, but you know, for him to be in the much pain, like I said he’s one of the tougher guys we have.”
Andrus will undergo an X-ray to see if there is any significant damage. If the 33-year-old is forced to miss the remaining seven games, Josh Harrison and Chad Pinder likely would share time at shortstop.