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Game Thread #160: A’s at Mariners

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THE ONE WHERE THE A’S ARE GOING TO THE PLAYOFFS!

MLB: Texas Rangers at Oakland Athletics Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Current Scores:
Indians just went down 7-2 to the Nationals - their loss would clinch a postseason berth for the A’s
Tampa Bay is leading 3-2 in the race for homefield advantage!

Good afternoon and the very happiest of Fridays to you all! There is a lot going on right now as the A’s are closing the final series of the year, coming full circle from their awful start against the Mariners in Japan. Who would have thought all this was possible in March/April, am I right? Yet the A’s are poised to win their 97th game of the year, which would tie last year’s shocking record, and it has taken every single win so far on the campaign to have a chance at securing a postseason slot. After weeks of counting down, tonight is the first chance the A’s have to clinch a postseason berth and take one step further to securing a home game in the playoffs.

THIS IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

Taking the mound tonight is the ever-reliable Mike Fiers, who has posted a 15-4 record this year with a sub-4 ERA, even in the highly juiced-ball season. I love Mike Fiers; he’s been nothing short of awesome this season and I saw him live in Anaheim Wednesday signing autographs and talking to A’s fans down the line before the epic game. The A’s are looking for one more strong start from him tonight to close his regular season (and it would be very fitting should he pitch the night of the postseason clinch) before he most likely would be the opener should the A’s make it into Houston. I think the A’s are leaning (and I believe they should) Sean Manaea’s way for his upside in the winner-take-all game, with everyone else available, but there is no doubt that Mike Fiers and his 15(+) wins is the horse that got them here, in a year when it might actually take 97 wins to even go to the playoffs.

He’ll try for his 16th win tonight behind this lineup.

It turns out that Mark Canha wasn’t kidding; he would be in the lineup today if he had to write himself in. Also welcome back to Khris Davis. Tonight’s game is simple; win to keep pace with Tampa Bay before the champagne showers in the clubhouse. Celebrate, indeed. They’ve earned every bit of this.

LET’S GO OAK-LAND!