Good morning, Athletics Nation!
The Oakland A’s dropped their first game of the 2020 ALDS, in particularly frustrating fashion. They led in the 6th, but a defensive error by their infield (!!!) led to four unearned runs and they never recovered. The big bad Houston Astros, with their past cheating and their currently massive payroll, got the win.
Over in San Diego, the AL East showdown had a similar result with the wealthy juggernaut squashing the plucky small-budget underdog-with-a-higher-seed. There was no key error, but there were six homers just like in A’s vs. Astros. In this case, it was the New York Yankees hitting four of them, including three off starter Blake Snell, to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 1-0 in their ALDS opener.
The list of hitters who went yard is discouraging, serving as a reminder that the Yankees are probably better than their record/seed. Giancarlo Stanton, because they can absorb any mega-contract they want for pennies in trade return. Aaron Judge, because they really needed the bonus of having a late-1st-round draft pick pan out into a superstar (while trading away bushels of overrated prospects to other teams). Clint Frazier, because the one time they did rebuild for like two months, it yielded eleventy impact prospects in return for no good reason. And Kyle Higashioka, a random backup catcher you’ve probably never heard of, just as an extra kick in the pants.
And so, one day into the ALDS round, the two heavyweights we’re all sick of, who both seemed so vulnerable this year, are each up 1-0 over the fun little guys. Sounds about like 2020. But these are best-of-five series, so there’s plenty of time for the A’s and/or Rays to come back and punch a ticket to the ALCS. Keep the fAith!
Meanwhile, the NL gets going today as well, in Texas. Here’s the schedule for Tuesday, all times Pacific:
- 11:08 a.m.: Marlins @ Braves
- 1:37 p.m.: Astros @ A’s
- 5:10 p.m.: Yankees @ Rays
- 6:38 p.m.: Padres @ Dodgers
It’s weird that there are no Central teams, and these are all divisional matchups, and yet I can’t deny they all look like fun series — probably precisely because they’re all regional and so they all have history together. Anyone want to bet against the Marlins going all the way just to put the finishing touch on this bizarre summer?
- Gallegos and McTaggart: Astros-A’s ALDS Game 2 FAQ (TBS, 4:30 ET)
- Kawahara: Chris Bassitt laments pitch location in ‘rough’ Game 1 start ($)
- Kawahara: Sean Manaea welcomes another chance to pitch in postseason ($)
- Kawahara: A’s still ‘underrated and underappreciated,’ says outfielder Mark Canha ($)
- Shea: How Dusty Baker handles Astros’ villain role: ‘I’ve been a villain most of my life’ ($)
- Vote: Who was the A’s MVP in the Wild Card Series?
- News: A’s announce postseason roster for 2020 ALDS
- Game 1: A’s defense falters in 10-5 slugfest loss
MLB News & Interest
- Nah, A’s are in the playoffs, nothing else matters
- Today in Baseball History
Game 1 Highlights
Loss! And a blown lead, via unearned runs. Doesn’t get more frustrating than that. On the bright side, Khris Davis homered, which could be a huge sign if he stays hot and goes on one of his signature barrages.
KD gets the A’s on the board pic.twitter.com/8yB0hf5pKP— A's on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) October 5, 2020
It would be nice to add some more new records like this one.
Khris Davis is the first A's player with multiple home runs in a single postseason since Brandon Moss had 2 in the 2014 AL Wild Card Game.— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 5, 2020
1st to homer in multiple postseason games for the A's in a single year since 2006, when Milton Bradley & Eric Chavez each did so.
Even better, Khris faces a lefty pitcher today in Game 2. What do the history books say about hitting three homers in a postseason game?
Best of Twitter
Right now this is the theme of the ALDS. Hopefully they’ll clean it up and it will not prove to be a huge factor after all.
You wonder how much having two new infielders is impacting the A's defense. That's two balls now where two infielders got close to each other, perhaps preventing the play from being made, although neither was an easy play.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) October 5, 2020
Chris Bassitt was knocked out early because the ball was flying, but he still did some good stuff.
this curveball from Bassitt started at Altuve's eyes and ended at his toes pic.twitter.com/QVN6KYCdh9— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) October 5, 2020
Umm what the actual F is he talking about? Does he think he’s on the A’s?
Lance McCullers Jr: "We have a good team. We may not have the big names, big bank accounts, but we got guys with balls. We got a good team.”— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) October 6, 2020
Here are some more sensible, fact-based talking points.