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A’s Fall Again, Facing Elimination

Nightmare time for the Athletics

The A’s have run into a nightmare. After winning one of the most impressive games of the franchise’s history, the A’s have their backs to the wall yet again after the Houston Astros beat them 5-2, to go up 2-0 in the best of 5 ALDS.

Going into the series, the A’s were supposed to be the favorites, with an electric offense and a dominant bullpen, but they have not looked the part one single bit. On the other hand, the Houston Astros who barely made it into the playoffs have looked like a championship caliber team the way they have been playing baseball over the past games.

Offense

Houston: The Astros are clicking on all cylinders on offense, and George Springer is leading the way. Going 6-9 in the first two games of the series, George Springer and the once slumping offense cannot be stopped. Despite all their struggles during the regular season, they all seem to have gone away as the Astros have collected 22 hits in two games.

Oakland: The Athletics have no problem hitting the long ball, nor do they have a problem with scoring runs. The A’s have a problem with hitting moving runners past first base and getting them into scoring position. As a matter of fact, the Athletics didn’t even get a runner into scoring position during the entire game.

Pitching

Both pitchers did a good job of controlling the strike zone, and both pitchers made some key pitches and key moments. However, Sean Manaea for the A’s ran into some trouble going down the stretch, and wasn’t able to make it out of the fifth inning. On the Other hand, Framber Valdez, the pitcher for the Houston Astros found a way to dominate, and was able to pitch seven innings of five-hit ball. Sean Manaea ran into trouble early against the Houston Astros, and was unable to find his rhythm after being rocked, and had to exit the game in the 5th inning.

Messages for both teams:

Oakland: If you’re the A’s, it’s time to wake up and understand the gravity of the situation, but not overwhelm yourselves. Take each game one day at a time, and try to keep the ball away from the middle to inner half of the plate, and well as up in the zone. And on the offensive side, runs are at a premium from now on, and they need to get them in any way they can. If that means adjusting swings to stop popping up, bunting (which the A’s never do), or just hitting for contact that’s what needs to be done. Trying to swing for the fences hasn’t worked for them so far, and the A’s are just hurting themselves by striking out in key moments. More productive at-bats are needed.

 

Houston: Don’t change anything: Just win. There are three more opportunities to move on against a desperate team with their back to the wall.

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