Before the game festivities begin, I just want to take a moment--as MLB teams are all doing around the league--and remember that today is 9/11, the National Day of Service and Remembrance. For me, personally, baseball was such an important part of the healing that followed the tragic events of 2001; and even though the one year where the ALDS fell on my birthday (it's usually the ALCS) is one I want to forget (Slide, dammit!), it reminded me what a powerful impact sports had/has on group of people. It can bring people together, it can bond a country; it can elicit emotions of pride, of bravery, of honor, of something bigger than ourselves. Never forget.
If the Oakland Athletics can manage to pull it together to win the American League West, a nice fruit basket should be arriving in Pittsburgh, as the Pirates completed the sweep of the Rangers in their home park just hours ago. Good for them. Way to step up and play for their own October rights. I hated the home run given up by Cook last night, but I have to admit it wasn't only the home run. I hated the loss. I thought the A's played last night's game lazy, and I was/am quite frankly, disgusted at the loss. An elite playoff team--one that has a chance to actually go somewhere--can't play games like last night's. Period. End of story. Not in September and October. Not against the Twins. Not when Pittsburgh gave the A's the biggest gift they could have been given. I don't want to accept mental errors; we've lost far too many playoff series based on really, really stupid baserunning, sloppy play in the field, and horrific pitches right down the middle. I want the A's to be better than that.
With the Rangers already in the loss column today, the A's have a real chance to extend their lead to 3 games before they play Texas this weekend, but they have to win today. Sonny Gray will take the mound for the A's, facing off against Mike Pelfrey. I want to see hustle, fire, and crisp play.
Here are the lineups:
LET'S GO OAK-LAND!