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A’s beat Rangers to clinch berth, eliminate Angels, Rays from contention

Oct 2, 2012, 1:24 AM EDT

Oakland Athletics Coco Crisp slides safely into home to score a run after beating the tag of Texas Rangers catcher Mike Napoli during the fifth inning of their MLB baseball game in Oakland Reuters

The A’s are going back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

Behind rookie Jarrod Parker, Oakland beat Texas 4-3 on Monday to clinch at least a wild card berth and eliminate the Angels and Rays from the mix for postseason spots.

With Detroit also winning tonight, it’s now set that the A’s, Orioles, Rangers, Tigers and Yankees will be the five teams representing the AL in the postseason. However, only the Tigers have clinched their division. The A’s could still win the AL West and perhaps finish with the league’s best record if they sweep the Rangers.

The  Oakland bullpen, so solid all season, came up big again tonight, as Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour combined to pitch three hitless innings in relief of Parker. Balfour struck out all three batters he faced in the ninth to earn his 23rd save.

Oakland’s offensive star was Coco Crisp, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and two runs scored. The Rangers got homers from both Michael Young and Mike Napoli, but it wasn’t enough in a game in which they combined to strike out 11 times.

  1. caliraiderz - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    What an A’mazing season ! This season blows away the money ball season. After trading away Gio and so many others that were considered our best guys we reloaded and somehow shocked everybody with this unbelievable group of rookie pitchers and scrappy guys and tore it up after the allstar break. It feels so good after sticking with my team to see what they have done . Cannot wait for some playoff baseball. GO A’s!!!

  2. hardballtalkusername - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    Fitting that Napoli strikes out to end the Angels post-season hopes. I wonder if he was grinning watching the A’s celebrate?

    • pauleee - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      He hit a homer in his previous AB to make it a 1 run game. I don’t think anyone in that clubhouse was grinning after that strikeout. They showed a couple of players in the dugout watching the celebration. They were looks of concern. Even worry. Perhaps a little fear. Nobody wants that 1 game playoff, and the A’s are rolling.

      If Texas isn’t careful, they’ll be traveling to the East Coast for the play-in!

    • pauleee - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Oh, and congrats A’s. Fantastic season. Now finish them!

  3. heathater4lifeson - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    The Bernie takin the nation by storm baby

  4. hittfamily - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:03 AM

    Time for Andrew Friedman to look in the mirror and realize how much he let Rays fans down this year.

    “We need some offense?”
    “Why do we have 9 starting pitchers?”
    “Does Friedman even watch the Rays?”

    These are a few questions I asked myself before the season started. The Rays had a good team. For the 4th year in a row, they were good, but not good enough. For the first time, it was evident to every fan who follows baseball that the Rays should have made the playoffs.

    They lacked offense all season. They had excess pitching all season. It is so frustrating to think what could have been. I think of the trade the Reds made in the offseason. Why weren’t the Rays involved? But then I am reminded we have Andrew Friedman pulling the strings. The reason the Rays weren’t involved was because it was a legitimate pitcher for 2/3 of a teams top prospects, with a few throw ins. Friedman wants quantity, not quality. Friedman would rather have 5 through 10 of organizational prospects than 2 through 4. That is why all our talent is homegrown. He trades our monsters : Garza, Kazmir, for the bottom 3/4 of a teams prospects.

    “I’ll give you our #1 and #2 prospects for Garza”

    “No. Give me #3 Hak Ju Lee, a 27 year old catcher, a walk prone pitcher, 27 year old outfielder Brandon Guyer”

    “Deal”

    “Wait. Throw in…..Sam Fuld”

    “Still Deal”

    This team had the most K’s in MLB history. They have the top rotation in baseball. Yet, they are still the 3rd best team in their own division, in a year when the Red Sox choked on Bobby V’s fried chicken. Every Rays fan knew this team needed some offense. Not Andrew Friedman though. He thought we needed Alex Torres, Alex Colome, Alex Cobb, Jeff Niemann, and Wade Davis to serve as mop up duty or sit in AAA all year.

    Disgraceful!

    • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 2, 2012 at 6:08 AM

      Dealing Kazmir was a pretty good idea. After seeing how he’s fallen apart I think any return on him was a good return.

      • hittfamily - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:36 PM

        He traded Kazmir, a top lefty in the game, for Sean Rodriguez. He traded 2008′s version of David Price for soon to be DFA’d Sean Rodriguez. The trade sucked worse for the Angels, but this wasn’t a slary dump at the time. This was trading a Legitimate top starter for garbage. Friedman has nothing to be proud of in this deal.

    • dwrek5 - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      Jonah Keri is about to finish his follow up book. “Ok maybe it’s going to take an extra 3%, you guys”.

    • leeeroooyjeeenkiiins - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      Next time just call Kazmir a monster at the beginning of your post so we won’t have to waste our time reading the rest of your drivel.

      • hittfamily - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:38 PM

        Kazmir was a monster. He was a top lefty, led the league in K’s, and was a 2 time allstar at 25 years old. He was David Price, before David Price. He was traded for garbage.

  5. scatterbrian - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:31 AM

    Great win for the A’s, and excellent pitching across the board. Parker pitched great aside from two mistakes, and Doolittle, Cook, and Balfour simply shut the Rangers down nine straight batters to seal it.

  6. kkolchak - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    How awesome will it be that the Angels and Dodgers, who both tried to buy a World Series will likely be out of the playoffs while the A’s, O’s and Nats are in it while being built largely from within?

    Oh, and hey there, Mike Trout fans, just because so many of you feel compelled to spout off in every Bryce Harper thread about how much better he supposedly is, let me take this moment to crow that only one of them is going to the postseason–and it isn’t Trout. :D

    • pitperc - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      Because Washington is going to the postseason soley due to the awesomeness of Harper, and the Angels are not solely due to the ineptitude of Trout, right?

  7. jayscarpa - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Hard to believe Texas is spitting the bit. I hope I get to use my ALDS tickets.

    • pw38 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM

      Yeah they need a shut down performance from Matty Harrison because I don’t feel good if they have to go into the final game to win the division. I mean it might come down to that but I think the A’s might have a little bit of a letdown after celebrating last night. The Rangers have been there, done that, they just need to show it. It’d suck for them to lead the division practically the whole season only for it to come down to a one game elimination. Still, they’ve had their chances to put the division away and they’re 4-10 in their past 14 so they have no one to blame but themselves if they don’t win the division. That blown save by Nathan in the first game of the Angels double header is looking pretty ominous right now.

  8. legacybroken - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    AL looks wide open right now. Detroit could end up using their multitude of power arms and Fister plus the Miggy, Prince and AJax show to bludgeon their way to a title. As a Tigers fan the Rangers still scare me with that lineup but their pitching is considerably weaker this year. Yankees on the other hand are fearing the Kitties, we’ve owned them in the playoffs the last two times. Of course the A’s or O’s are dangerous because they weren’t supposed to be a the party so they could throw a monkey wrench in the playoffs.

  9. dirtyharry1971 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:10 AM

    1 more loss and the bluejays clinch a 90 loss season!!! Come on jays!!!

  10. pauleee - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    What is it with you and this unnatural obsession with the Blue Jays?

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