I still have to pinch myself to remember that this season is real — it’s not a dream. It’s not a hallucination brought on by the two bottles of Robitussin® I’ve downed in the past several days while trying to kick the flu. Khrush hit two shy of 50 dingers on the season. We had a winning record while being without a single starter from opening day and having to play a handful of bullpen games to make up for the missing slots. It doesn’t seem real even when you sit and look at it. We have the number one home run hitter in baseball, but he just ended his fourth straight season with his batting average sitting dead on at .247. No, it doesn’t seem real, but as we all well know, you don’t question why it works, you just hold on as long as it does.
This was another week that went well, but could have gone better if the Red Sox did not suck while playing the Yankees. Or, if the Red Sox had real reason to go all-out against a Yankees team vying to not lose their first Wild Card slot, that is, but the first one is more fun to say. The Red Sox clinched already and have been saving their guys for the postseason — Chris Sale has pitched 12 innings in 28 days.
Houston had continued to stoke the fire they started under themselves when we last saw them, surging to a franchise record 103 wins and finally ending the season six games ahead of us. So we stand in exactly the same place we did once we finally surpassed Seattle — second in the Wild Card, second in the AL West.
No problem, though, any ticket to the Postseason is still valid, even if it would have been just that much sweeter to get in on top — no problem, coming from behind is kind of our thing.
Khrush continues to awe as he ended his third straight regular season with 40+ homers, increasing from 42-43-48 each season. It’s incredible to think this may not be his best years, this may just be the beginning. He ends the season as the league leader, becoming the first A’s player to head the category since Mark McGwire in 1996 with 52 dingers.
Do you like when we talk about dingers? Okay! Let’s talk about dingers. Jonathan Lucroy smashed one which happened to be his 100th of his career, and his 100th hit of the season. Go Luuuuuuuuuuuuc!
Not a home run, but Beau Taylor finally got his first career Major League hit yesterday! Drafted in 2011 by the A’s, 28-year-old Beau has had exactly six plate appearances in seven games in the Bigs. Beau was so excited about his hit, he almost didn’t make it to second!
Happy Feet— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 30, 2018
Beau Taylor makes it to second base for his first career MLB hit despite tripping over his own feet pic.twitter.com/hkHWQHlQrx
And as if that wasn’t enough to get you smiling, his postgame reaction was priceless.
Beau Taylor postgame reaction on his first career MLB hit...while literally biting the dust on his way to second base pic.twitter.com/DDv7SAt79j— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) September 30, 2018
Today, Blake Treinen earned AL Reliever of the Month. In September he posted 13.1 IP and a 0.00 ERA. He ends the regular season with a 0.78 ERA and a 11.2 K/9 over 80.1 IP.
Still no word yet on who will be pitching tomorrow for either club.
I’m saying something I can’t with real honesty say I was sure of at the beginning of the season — we’re in the Postseason. In the Wild Cad Game we’re facing the Yankees, who we are tied with at 3-3 in the regular season. Sure, we all start off the season talking about how the A’s could make it to October, but no one can assuredly say that. You can’t even say “should make it.” That’s reserved for big-bill guys like Boston and New York, guys who can buy the stars and build a franchise out of promise and green, like Chicago and LA. Those are the “should”s. A’s fans have to do all the talking about our team, because no one else is going to. It ain’t easy, but we’re the ones who have to believe, because no one else does. Why should they? We’re not supposed to be here.
The Shoulds think we’re just darling when they see us surging, but then when the A’s clinch before Chicago does, something isn’t so cute about it any more. We’re real. We’re a threat, and we’re moving in on what Should Be Happening in baseball.
We’ve made it to the Postseason recently, only to be met with disappointment and a fizzling end to a fiery (Fiersy?) shot at stardom. We’ve seen our miraculous runs turn to slop so quickly it’s sickening. No one wants to lose like that. No one wants to make it and then fall on their face. No, if you’re gonna lose, you want to do it with grace — go down fighting.
This season, however, is new. This is the new history. This is a world where our path is not set. Sure, it looks rocky, but so did our path to the Wild Card Game. This is a piece of history that has yet to be written, and no amount of back talk can change the course of tomorrow’s outcome.
This is why we watch sports. This is why we’ve stuck with these guys, no matter how many seasons have ended in disappointment and mindless chatter about next years. This is a baseball team we’ve let into our lives, into our families and relationships; they’ve been there longer than some of our friends have. And we’re ready to support them again.
Favorite event of the week
This poll is closed
Treinen’s reliever of the month honors
Khrush’s record-setting dingers
Lucroy hitting his 100th and 100th
Beau’s happy feet
Normally the way I (professionally) work on my posts is frantically writing and drawing the content from Saturday night to Sunday morning, with some form of napping (professionally) between the two. This Saturday, however, I spent in College Station, PA, with a record-breaking number of fans (!!) also attending the Penn State football White Out game with my dad. Luckily, it worked out, as the last game of the baseball season was last night and it seemed like another good opportunity to post on Monday anyway. The experience was absolutely awe-inspiring, a bucket list item I never could have hoped to actually get to cross off. Neither of us are much for crowds, but we can suck it up for this sort of magical sporting experience.