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A’s finish sweep of Rangers, win AL West

Oct 3, 2012, 6:53 PM EST

Ryan Cook Getty Images

The A’s finished off their incredible comeback in style Wednesday, overcoming a 5-1 deficit to pound the Rangers 12-5 and win the AL West.

Today marks the first time all year the A’s have been alone in first place in the AL West. They were as many as 13 games behind Texas on June 30.

The A’s claimed the division despite finishing the season with a rotation containing five rookies. They had one All-Star (reliever Ryan Cook) to the Rangers’ eight. It’s quite likely that they’ll place no one in the top 10 in the AL MVP balloting or in the top five in the Cy Young balloting.

Texas jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third today in part because the A’s failed to handle a pair of popups. The first one resulted in one out anyway (the runner had to wait halfway between first and second on the fly to shallow right), but it likely would have been a double play had it been caught, since Josh Hamilton ran from second to third on the ball. The second popup fell just fair about a third of the way down the third-base line.

The A’s came right back in the fourth, though, collecting three straight hits to knock Ryan Dempster out of the game. They tied it at 5 on a Coco Crisp double. Later, with two outs and two on, Yoenis Cespedes hit a fly to center than Hamilton seemed to see all of the way. However, at the very last second, he apparently lost it in the sun, as it ended up going just wide of his glove for a two-run error.

The Oakland bullpen kept the Rangers quiet from there, doing a masterful job once again. Evan Scribner pitched three scoreless innings after starter A.J. Griffin was pulled in the third. Cook turned in a scoreless seventh while working for the fifth straight day and then fellow rookie Sean Doolittle tossed a scoreless eighth while pitching on a fourth straight day. The A’s busted it open in the bottom of the eighth, scoring four runs to up their lead from three to seven.

Despite the result today, the A’s still have no idea who they’ll be facing in the postseason. It could even be the Rangers if the Yankees lose, giving the A’s the AL’s top seed, and the Rangers win the wild card game against the Orioles or Yankees.

  1. hardballtalkusername - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Is this real life? Texas choked badly, up 5 games with 9 left to play. They are damn lucky there’s a 2nd wild card this year, or they’d be the 2012 version of the 2011 Red Sox.

    • thepancakebandit - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Haha — Die hard Sox fan here, and I was thinking the exact same thing.

    • skerney - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM

      Perhaps Texas choked, but i have never seen a team as hot as the Athletics are right now. The A’s scorched their way to a division title and I have to give them credit.

  2. thepancakebandit - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Man oh man, did the Rangers tank recently. I don’t really follow either team, but congrats to the A’s. MONEYBALL!

  3. icanspeel - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    Congrats to the A’s. It really looked like they wanted it more than the Rangers. The Rangers looked defeated after Hamilton dropped that easy fly ball

  4. APBA Guy - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    What a great day!

    • indaburg - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:08 PM

      Congrats again. I was pulling for them to pull off the upset. I was very happy to also see two of my favorite former Rays, the crazy Aussie Balfour, and the even crazier Gomes, celebrating. That is one fun clubhouse.

      • APBA Guy - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:11 AM

        Thanks, even though Jonny didn’t play today, he was the first guy leading the charge for the celebration. He, like the other A’s didn’t squawk about playing time, getting put in a platoon. And did he ever deliver. Plus nobody started a brawl with the A’s this year with Gomes and Balfour. Coincidence?

  5. husky2score - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    What if the Yanks become wild card and the rangers and yanks square off for the one game elimination wild card game. That would be something.

    • jlovenotjlo - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

      That is a lot of money riding on one game. I’d love to see that.

    • Marty - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:41 PM

      MLB will promote it as the biggest game of the season, possibly ever.

  6. royalsfaninfargo - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Wow! Is all I have to say.

  7. normcash - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    I’m a diehard Tigers fan, and I do NOT want to face these guys. What a remarkable year! Maybe the best in MLB history! Hats off to this amazing team!

  8. dondada10 - Oct 3, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    Congrats to the A’s, and beware the hot team.

    Crazy to say, but it wouldn’t shock me if the they win the A.L.

  9. dcfan4life - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:00 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised, after 2 World Series losses and this collapse that they lose the play in game. I mean would you really wanna play the Yankees or Orioles right now? I wouldn’t if i were them.

  10. butchhuskey - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    I’m a Mets fan, but I must say that the 2012 A’s are one of the most exciting teams I’ve ever seen

  11. umrguy42 - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM

    So, no dingers for Hamilton (that I see), should pretty much all-but-guarantee Cabrera’s Triple Crown, right?

    • dondada10 - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:23 PM

      I think the scenario I heard was Trout would have to go 4-4 and Miggy would have to go 0-4 for him to lose the Triple Crown.

      I doubt Leyland would give Miggy 4 ABs.

      • umrguy42 - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:34 PM

        Yeah, something like that. I’m also hearing that Curtis Granderson has an outside shot at denying him the HR title, but given that he’d need like 5 for that, he’d almost certainly need game 163 for it…

      • normcash - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

        Granderson would need 3 HRs to tie and 4 to win—he did homer in his first AB tonight…

  12. beefytrout - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Championship-caliber teams play the way Oakland did over the past week. All due respect to them, they went out and kicked ass like you’re supposed to. I can’t believe the Rangers end up not even winning the division, but they simply tanked in spectacular fashion.

    Enjoy the playoffs, A’s fans.

  13. demolition510 - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    One Oakland team we can be proud of. Let’s go Oakland!!!

  14. approvenothing - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    And a single tear runs down my face. Finnaly decided to buy me and my girlfriend some tickets to the ALDS, ALCS, and was going to buy some for the world series. Ah well, refund the tickets hopefully and take her out to a nice dinner maybe?

    • approvenothing - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:13 PM

      Also, any recomendations for a restraunt in North Texas?

  15. pvaz869 - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:06 PM

    Sweep!!!!

    Go A’s… been a long time coming! Total team effort. Even when Craig was hammering the team for poor offense and “the road trip of death would keep them out of the playoffs”

    AL West Champs, Craig!!!!

  16. baseballisboring - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Amazing

  17. jtchernak - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    I don’t usually root for underdogs but these guys are a bunch of no names that have done something amazing good for them

  18. paperlions - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:10 PM

    If only that Billy Beane guy knew what he was doing, maybe the A’s would be good once in a while….but according to hundreds of former players, announcers, and media members that have never read Moneyball, he’s clueless and his approach to building a baseball team doesn’t work.

    • ptfu - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:58 PM

      Rumor has it his $#!t doesn’t work in the playoffs.

  19. randygnyc - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    Congrats to the A’s.

    Without the second WC, the Rangers would be on suicide watch. How many nannies will be assigned to Hamilton for the next few days? I can see him getting bombed on the flight home.

  20. thebadguyswon - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:20 PM

    Go A’s!!

    America’s Team 2012

  21. natslady - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Man, I’m glad it didn’t happen to the Nats!! Atlanta was coming hard and Nats were only playing .500 ball for a while there!

    P.S. Hope Davey is OK, we need that guy!

  22. channingtaintum - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Nice work A’s, one hell of a comeback! Who would have thunk it?

    But kind of lost in the story…..Miggy just wrapped up the triple crown.

  23. jimatkins - Oct 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    I’m a diehard Halo fan, but all glory to Oakland! A pack of nobodies in a nowhere park, no fans, no reason to exist except to JUST WIN, BABY! This is so amazing. Kill everything in your path, no prisoners, win it all! That being said, I’m pretty happy for Baltimore, too.

  24. randygnyc - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Funny, I can’t seem to find any quotes from the Rangers about today’s loss. Wasn’t there a post game press conference?

  25. papichulo55 - Oct 3, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Texas aint dead yet! They win the play-in against Balt and get a chance to slug it out with the Yankees, who probably has the coldest pitchers going into the post-season.

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