With two late-inning comebacks and extra-inning wins in their last two games the A’s have gotten back to just over the .500 mark. With all the injuries this season and teeny, tiny little payroll (Thanks! John Fisher and co.), can we really ask for more?
Well, if you were to take away the injuries to the pitching staff (and currently Matt Chapman), then yes, actually, as A’s fans we know we probably could. It isn’t far fetched to hope that a scrappy group of youngsters and a couple of veterans could say, “screw the experts.” Look at what the A’s did in 2002, obviously, the most widely-known example of a team that shouldn’t have had so much success but did. Plus, after staying in relative contention (and even making it to the 2006 American League Championship Series) for the next almost-decade, the 2012 team was “supposed to” — according to, again the “experts” — lose upwards of 100 games. But even the most kids out there should be able to remember the 2012 season, as it was a bit more than memorable. Instead of losing 100 games that scrappy A’s team won 97 and the American League Western Division Title. So, as you all know, it’s never over until it’s, well, game 162 (technically it can be, of course, but you get where I am going here, right?).
Now, I am in no way assuming or even saying that anything as remarkable as what the 2002 or 2012 A’s did will happen this year. However, the A’s still have a chance to prove the “experts” wrong. They could stay over .500 this season and finish it that way. I mean, isn’t that what the A’s (at least since the late 1980’s - early 1990’s) do? Shock the baseball world? While, staying over the .500 mark on the year wouldn’t be quite the shock that winning the West was in 2012, it would still be a way of showing the naysayers who’s boss and reminding them that in baseball — anything can happen!
All that said, the A’s will have to keep winning, and the Padres don’t plan to go down easily as they are looking to put a stop to a four-game skid. The Athletics will have Frankie Montas (3-1, 2.67) on the mound and the Padres have activated Joey Lucchesi (3-2, 3.23 ERA) from the 10-day disabled list to start today’s contest.
Here are today’s lineups:
Alright, let’s do this! Let’s go Oakland!!