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Athletics magic number: Still 10, games to watch Friday Sep. 19

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A look back at Thursday's AL Wild Card scoreboard, and a look ahead to Friday's action.

The A's control their own destiny. They just have to win 10 in a row, it's not that hard. Tell 'em Scott! "It's incredibly hard."
The A's control their own destiny. They just have to win 10 in a row, it's not that hard. Tell 'em Scott! "It's incredibly hard."
Jason O. Watson

Adam Dunn says he chose the number 10 in honor of his former teammate on the Cincinnati Reds, Scott Hatteberg. And so the A's remain on the magic number 10 after the Seattle Mariners defeated the (Salt Lake Bees) Los Angeles Angels, pulling to within one game of the Oakland Athletics for the final place in the postseason. Both teams have 10 games remaining. If there is any good news, it is that we know either the Royals or the Tigers will lose two games this weekend in their three-game series at Kansas City.

Here are your AL Wild Card standings at the end of September 19:

W L GB 9/18
Magic Number
Games remaining
WC1 KC 83 68 +0.5 Idle 12 2-5 3 vs. DET, 3+1 at CLE, 4 at CWS
WC2 OAK 83 69 -- Loss 3 vs. PHI, 3 vs. LAA, 4 at TEX
SEA 82 70 1.0 Win 10 9-10 3 at HOU, 4 at TOR, 3 vs LAA
CLE 79 73 4.0 Win 7 4-2 3 at MIN, 3+1 vs KC, 3 vs TB
NYY 78 74 5.0 Win 6 4-2 3 vs TOR, 4 vs BAL, 3 at BOS
TOR 77 75 6.0 Loss 5 4-3 3 at NYY, 4 vs SEA, 3 vs BAL
TB 74 79 9.5 Idle 1 4-2 3 vs CWS, 3 at BOS, 3 at CLE
Division Leaders
West LAA 95 58 Champ Loss 8-8
East BAL 92 60 Champ Idle 4-2
Central DET 84 68 +0.5 Idle 12 2-5 3 at KC, 3 vs CWS, 4 vs MIN

The "+1" between Kansas City and Cleveland denotes a suspended game to be resumed on September 22 with Kansas City batting in the bottom of the 10th inning trailing Cleveland 4-2.

Thursday's recaps

Oakland's loss has given the Indians some hope at a final run to the postseason if at least two of the four teams at the top (Kansas City, Detroit, Oakland, and Seattle) falter. Cleveland is sitting on that lead in the suspended game to be resumed on Monday against Kansas City, and has three more against Kansas City at Progressive Field. Their other six games are against the also-rans of the Central Division.

The Yankees decided they would be the ones to make one last gasp at a postseason run in their series against the Blue Jays by taking the first game of that four game series, they trail by five. Toronto must now perform a task greater than Oakland performed in 2012, as they must come back from six games down with 10 to play.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2

From Caitlin Rogers of Pinstripe Alley:

The Yankees started their final series of the season against the Blue Jays with yet another great outing by Shane Greene. After a mistake by Shawn Kelley, it looked like the game might be headed for extra innings, but Chase Headley was able to knock the ball through Adam Lind's legs for the walk-off victory.


[J]ust when Yankee fans started to wonder if we might have seen Jeter's last home run, R.A. Dickey decided to gift him with a fastball down the middle. That was the first home run that Jeter has hit in Yankee Stadium this year, and only his fourth of the season.

From Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter:

So that was awful.

Jose Bautista ties up the game in the 8th with a 2-run homer.

And then, in the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees walk off on a Adam Lind error. . . . Chase Headley grounds one right at Adam Lind at first base and Adam, lets it go right through his legs. Fielders are told to stay down on balls[, as] it is easier to come up with the bounce than it is to go down. Well, Lind didn't stay down. It was very important that he at least keep the ball in front of him, but he missed it totally for a walk off error.

Our Jays are finding new and inventive ways to lose. My dad would say "they can't win for losing".

AL Wild Card Contenders

Indians 2, Astros 1 (13)

From USSChoo of Let's Go Tribe:

[S]ince this game was anything other than typical, Mike Aviles tried his hand at playing the hero, slapping a single to right field. With Ramirez flying around third Marisnick unleashed a terrible throw and the Indians took the lead.

Cody Allen would come on close out the game, picking up two strikeouts in the process. All told, the game went 13 innings, saw 12 pitchers, 5 pinch-hitters, 2 pinch-runners and 1 defensive replacement. But, most importantly, the Indians won. And they're still alive.

Mariners 3, Angels 1

From Jake Mailhot of Lookout Landing:

For the first few scoreless innings, this game seemed like one of those dumb ideas that your friend has and you just have to laugh at it because of its ridiculousness. But then, as this game went on and the zeros continued to pile up on the scoreboard, the frustration level kept rising. The laughs turned hesitant and awkward as you realize your friend is deadly serious about his dumb idea. Of course robbing a bank is a terrible idea, right guys?

Friday's games to watch

Five night games fill the card. We begin at four o'clock with the Yankees trying to keep any hope of a final Derek Jeter postseason alive. At five o'clock, is your marquee triple-header. The Mariners hope to put pressure on the Athletics with an early victory, the Tigers and Royals play to determine who will lead the AL Central for at least one more night, and the Indians take on the Twins so that the Tribe might slip in against the sliding teams above.

Finally, the A's start at 6:30 to accommodate Star Wars Fireworks Night. They take on the Philadelphia Phillies minus the suspended Jonathan Papelbon for the final interleague series for Oakland. It's a Lester Day.

Time (PT) Starting Pitcher Notes
4:05 PM Blue Jays Mark Buehrle (12-9, 3.40) M# vs. TOR = 5
Yankees Hiroki Kuroda (10-9, 3.81) M# vs. NYY = 6
5:10 PM Mariners Taijuan Walker (1-2, 2.96) M# vs. SEA = 10
Astros Brad Peacock (4-8, 4.80)
5:10 PM Tigers Justin Verlander (13-12, 4.81) M# vs. DET = 12
Royals Jason Vargas (11-9, 3.41) M# vs. KC = 12
5:10 PM Indians Trevor Bauer (5-8, 4.04) M# vs. CLE = 7
Twins Phil Hughes (15-10, 3.56)
6:35 PM Phillies David Buchanan (6-7, 3.75)
Athletics Jon Lester (15-10, 2.45)