The A's should know all too well how high the stakes are in Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game. They were, after all, boat-raced by the New York Yankees in last year's winner-take-all contest.
Tuesday's NL Wild Card Game served as yet another reminder.
The Washington Nationals advanced to the NLDS with a 4-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park, thanks to a fielding error from Milwaukee outfielder Trent Grisham. Grisham misplayed Soto's single to right field with the bases loaded, and all three Nationals scored to turn Washington's 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
There's postseason heartbreak, and then there's this.
What a crazy win probability shift... Wow, what a game! pic.twitter.com/SJVwQn2Ak5— Daren Willman (@darenw) October 2, 2019
Tuesday's wild outcome -- pun intended -- shows how quickly things can change in a do-or-die scenario. So, too, does the Colorado Rockies' 13th-inning win over the Chicago Cubs in the same game last season, the Giants' Conor Gillaspie-led win in 2016 and even the A's own loss to the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 AL Wild Card Game.
Baseball is random enough over 162 games. With two teams' seasons coming down to a single game, sudden shifts aren't just possible.
They're to be expected, as Tuesday night proved.