Athletics

Athletics

It's hard to be too critical of the A's performance this week. After all, they finished off their second straight 97-win season, resulting in a return trip to the playoffs.

However, Oakland won't be carrying any offensive momentum into the postseason. The bats went cold in the team's final seven games of the regular season, producing just 16 runs and three wins. In fact, the A's haven't scored more than three runs in a game since last Saturday against Texas.

The bulk of the offensive struggles have come with runners on base. In their four-game series against the Mariners, the Green and Gold went 0-for-27 with runners in scoring position. The two games in Anaheim weren't much better, with Oakland going 2-for-18 in those situations.

Fortunately, the A's have a couple of days to regroup before Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game against the Rays. And as we all know, the playoffs are a completely new season.

The Coliseum will be packed with more than 50,000 screaming fans, creating a major advantage for Oakland. The A's went 52-27 at the Coliseum this season and figure to play their best baseball in a postseason atmosphere.

The other good news is that Oakland's best hitters have performed well as of late, despite the lack of run production. Marcus Semien has reached base safely in 17 consecutive games. Matt Chapman went 6-for-17 with two home runs in his last four games. Matt Olson was 5-for-16 with a homer in his last four contests. Ramón Laureano has two round-trippers in his last four games.

 

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All of the A's should benefit from this two-day break -- it's a chance to relax after the pressure of a season-long playoff race. Sure, the postseason presents its own type of pressure, but there has to be some sense of relief in simply making it to the dance.

Now the A's are the underdogs again. With 100-win teams like the Astros, Yankees, and Twins lurking, surely no one expects Oakland to make a deep run in October. That could be when the A's are the most dangerous.