Giants versus A’s: September

Kelly Nolte, Sports Editor

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As the baseball season comes to an end, many teams are fighting for spots in the postseason. Within the Bay Area, there are two prominent baseball teams worth keeping an eye on: the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics.

Prior to the season starting, the Giants were already at a disadvantage, as two of their pitchers were placed on the disabled list. Starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner sustained a wrist injury, and, shortly after, pitcher Johnny Cueto displayed finger blisters. However, the plethora of injuries did not make the fans stop BeliEVEN, as hope was still placed in top prospects.

The A’s had similar difficulties at the start of the season. Starting pitcher Jharel Cotton underwent surgery, placing him on the disabled list. Immediately afterwards, the likely replacement on the team also needed surgery. These difficulties hindered them throughout the season. Although they started strong, playing good games at the beginning of the season and winning some, they were never considered to be true competition for a playoff spot.

Despite this disappointment, individual players on the team had personal victories throughout the season. Both the second baseman Jed Lowrie and pitcher Blake Trienen made the all-star team, with the rest of the team having a few days off for the all star break.The all star team is where the best players on each team in the National League come together to play the best players in the American League.  

The San Francisco Giants also had two players make the all star team, shortstop Brandon Crawford and catcher Buster Posey. However, Posey chose to remain in the Bay Area and not play in the game.

Following this break, the A’s began unexpectedly winning games. Their batting lineup gelled, as Lowrie has an OPS (on base plus slugging) of 1.389, and well as other men on the team in the 900’s. Their batting lineup is now ranked in the top ten in the MLB. As they continue to dominate the American League West, they are now only three games out of the top spot and over nine games ahead of the Mariners in third.

The San Francisco Giants did not come back from their break as strong as the A’s. After a blown save, ace relieving pitcher Hunter Strickland let anger get the best of him, and punched a wall. This blow put him on the disabled list. Despite the fact that the Giants have racked over 25 blown saves this season, meaning that they were winning, they lost when the relief pitchers came in following Strickland’s injury. This could be to blame for over a fourth of their losses, having drastic consequences for the team. As of now, the Giants are ten games out of second place, with 17 games left to play. In order to place, they will need to start winning (and hope that the Dodgers and Rockies lose some games).

Despite all of these challenges, seeing these two Bay Area teams play one another in the World Series would be an exciting moment, as it has not happened since 1989.