In a "playoff" pitching matchup without the playoff atmosphere ("THANKS") the A's took care of business, eviscerating the last remnants of the Wedgies and assuring themselves of hosting ALDS game 1 and 2 starting a week from today. The rest of the season (i.e. 2 games in the Northwest) is rendered a mere formality, although don't tell that to Jesse Chavez, Tommy Milone, Seth Smith, and others who might be competing for that precious 25th spot.
The game started off auspiciously, with a Coco Crisp double, a Jed Lowrie single, and a Brandon Moss three-run longball special. It was all A's from then on. Bartolo Colon did serve up the home runniest pitch ever to Franklin Gutierrez and the second most jackable toss in history to Kendrys Morales but overall he sparkled with his well placed and well-aged vintage fastballs. Two solo home runs, but otherwise a solid 97 pitches over six innings for a great posteason tune-up.
King Felix settled down big time, but the soft bullpen underbelly of the Mariners ruined fan appreciation night at the Safeco. D-No took the definitely not age-less Oliver Perez deep for two more runs, and the rout was on. For good measure our boys hurt the feelings of Thom Wilhelmsen (D-No again, this time with a double -- incidentally, no way anyone leaves a right-handed bat THIS good off any playoff roster).
Bottom line: This team looks ready for the postseason. Ryan Cook did allow a long double to the wall, but otherwise was filthy. Grant Balfour did walk Justin Smoak, although at least two of the pitches were close, just missing low. And as we all know, missing low is infinitely better than missing high. Bob Melvin seems intent on giving both of those recently shaky bullpen arms some serious work. I think given the four off days, he would prefer to make sure that the key cogs are in tip top shape. I don't disagree with that strategy.
I don't want to write a whole hell of a lot because I drank too much and my neighbors' upstairs party has suddenly moved downstairs because everyone seems to love our apartment and I'm sitting here on a laptop. Well at least I set up a playlist and turned up the music. Friday night woo hoo! Sorry BBG no marshmallow vodka.
Update: Cespedes left the game in the fourth inning after aggravating his shoulder tendinitis on a swing. He is day-to-day.