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Game #162: Forgettable Loss, Unforgettable Year

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Click Here to Revisit the Game Thread

He is a constant threat to mash dingers. He is a team leader day in and day out. He always bats .247. Khris Davis brings his game every single day, and the nickname 24/7 is such an obvious one, AN should be collectively embarrassed for not thinking of it sooner.

A quick summary of today’s events:

The A’s offense today was provided by Stephen Piscotty and Franklin Barreto, each of whom smacked a two run home run today. It should have been enough, but disturbing memories from April of this year rushed forward to ruin the party when Chris Hatcher entered the game in the ninth inning to put the regular season to rest. While he did end the A’s season, he did so by allowing three runs in three batters faced, the final blow coming as a walkoff two run home run off the bat of the light-hitting Taylor Ward. For Mike Scioscia, it is a nice moment to retire on, a fun victory at the tail end of a string of disappointing seasons. Scioscia can now retire and return to the trails and foothills of Thousand Oaks, and his golden retrievers’ existences can continue to infuriate my parent’s cocker-spaniel mutt Buffy whenever the two meet on a path.

The end result of today’s game is an unfortunate one, and marks just the second time this season, and the second time in the last week, that the A’s lost a game they lead in the seventh or later. It is probably best to not worry about this.

The game itself was meaningless, and besides, the eyes of the baseball world were fixated on the National League West and Central division races, and so this game can be quickly lost in the annals of history. What is important is that the ball jumped off of the bats of the A’s today, the A’s played strong defense like they had all season long, and that Hatcher, who is probably a very nice and good person, won’t be throwing baseballs for the green and gold any longer, and certainly not in October.

Brett Anderson gave up a two run home run to Jefry Marte and a 100 MPH single off his ass, but otherwise looked solid, notching five strikeouts in three innings pitched. Anderson, despite his August and despite having some BABIP issues in his return from the DL, has simply fallen out of favor with much of the fanbase, but he has looked better than the A’s other starting pitching options in the season’s final weeks. He’ll be walking on eggshells once the games become meaningful once again, even if the scrutiny against him isn’t entirely warranted.

If this season went the way people anticipated and predicted, this would be the end of the road. But something special happened this season, and the A’s and their fans get to be rewarded with at least one more game. Baseball’s regular season is long and unforgiving. It is impossible to dwell on even the highest of highs or the lowest of lows, because there is always a new game the next day. The A’s never dwelled. Each day was a new opportunity to prove their doubters wrong. Each day was a new chance to do something great in front of thousands or millions of viewers. Each day was a new Red Bull shotgunned in the dugout.

Focus not on the results today, A’s fans. This team is playoff bound for the first time since the dark times, the second half of 2014. All because this team competed and believed they could win every single day, 24/7.

Just like Khris Davis, one of the true hearts and souls of Oakland.