While the A’s have completed 41 games and found distinct success in 2020, it should not be mistaken that behind the scenes, replicating "normal" has been difficult.
“It’s been a grind,” outfielder Stephen Piscotty told NBC Sports California on Wednesday morning. “It was said at one of our team meetings the other day: It’s only been a few weeks, but this season has felt longer than any other one.”
In the last two weeks specifically, the A's have navigated through California wildfires, a Texas hurricane, racial injustice protests, a positive coronavirus test, a hard quarantine in Houston ... and then restarting their season against the San Diego Padres.
The pinnacle of all that was staying idle in Texas while their season was at the mercy of COVID-19 test results.
“We didn’t leave our (hotel) rooms for two-and-a-half days,” Piscotty said. “It was something else. Coming back from that has been a bit of a challenge, but the road has been an interesting place to be. Part of the grind and something we’re dealing with.”
On top of all that, many players have intentionally kept isolated and/or separated from their closest family since the start of July.
“I can only imagine the guys with kids and their wives are back home,” Piscotty said. “They don’t get to see them for two months, and hopefully three months if we go on this postseason run.”
While Piscotty is trying to promptly return from a wrist injury, his season to date has gone quite well, all things considered. Specifically in the clutch, as he’s hitting .400 with runners in scoring position.
“It’s been nice for me where I’m hitting in the order,” Piscotty said. “I usually have (Mark) Canha or (Robbie) Grossman ahead of me, and they always seem to be on base. The fact that I’m getting a lot of those at-bats, I feel more comfortable.”
Also noticeable this season has been Piscotty’s aggressive approach early in counts and at-bats. He’s not waiting around much.
“I’m a hitter, I like to get up there and do damage,” Piscotty said. “I’m not gonna be too patient, I’m there to drive in those runs.”