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A's top 5 wins from 2019, what they mean for '20

@MartinJGallegos
November 26, 2019

The A’s continued their rise as one of the most exciting young teams in baseball with a second straight year of 97 wins and a postseason berth. When you win that many games, there can be plenty of signature moments to choose from. We can’t fit all of those big

The A’s continued their rise as one of the most exciting young teams in baseball with a second straight year of 97 wins and a postseason berth. When you win that many games, there can be plenty of signature moments to choose from.

We can’t fit all of those big wins here, but here are five that tell us something about the upcoming 2020 season that is sure to be met with more high expectations for Oakland.

1) Chapman rescues A’s in Anaheim, Sept. 25
The A’s eclipsed the franchise record of 243 home runs this season, and none of the 257 was bigger than this one Matt Chapman swatted off Angels reliever Hansel Robles. On a night when the Rays already had tied Oakland for the top American League Wild Card spot, the A’s were in danger of falling behind in the race as they trailed the Angels by one run entering the ninth inning.

Marcus Semien set the stage with a leadoff single, and with one out, Chapman delivered a majestic go-ahead two-run shot to center that blew the roof off the visitors' dugout and sent a contingent of A’s fans near it into a frenzy. That swing prevented the A’s from their first three-game losing streak since mid-July, and two days later, they clinched a spot in the postseason.

What does it tell us for 2020?
Entering this night in the worst slump of his Major League career, Chapman got things going with one swing of the bat. No matter how he’s going at the plate, Chapman is unquestionably the guy the A’s want up in a clutch situation going forward.

2) A’s bounce back in historic fashion, Sept. 10
One night after enduring their worst defeat of the year -- a 15-0 loss to the Astros -- the A’s returned the favor by punishing Houston with 21 runs on 25 hits and six home runs, all season highs, in a 21-7 victory at Minute Maid Park.

Khris Davis mashed homer No. 20 on this night, giving the A’s seven batters to reach the 20-homer mark, which had only been done seven times by a club entering the season. The A’s also became just the second team in the Modern Era to lose a game by 15 runs, then win their next game against the same opponent by 14 runs.

What does it tell us about 2020?
Something that has been true about the A’s for the past couple of years: No matter how bad of a loss they endure, they’ve mastered the ability to put that in the past and not allow any residual effects to linger into the next game.

3) Chapman walks off vs. Hader, Aug. 1
Chapman doesn’t shy away from the big moments, as evidenced by his 17 homers in the seventh inning or later, which led the Majors.

On a day where Chapman entered just 1-for-27, he broke out of that slump in a major way by crushing a go-ahead two-run blast off Brewers star closer Josh Hader that proved to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 win at the Coliseum. The win moved Oakland into a tie for the second AL Wild Card spot.

What does it tell us about 2020?
The A’s can’t be counted out for a comeback, no matter how late in the game it is, even against one of the toughest lefties in baseball.

4) Luzardo makes electric debut in Houston, Sept. 11
Few prospects in Oakland history came with as much hype as A’s No. 1 prospect Jesus Luzardo, and when he finally took a big league mound for the first time at Minute Maid Park, the electric lefty lived up to the hype.

Luzardo retired nine of the 10 batters he faced with two strikeouts over three innings of relief, establishing himself as a weapon out of the bullpen in a playoff race before he’s expected to anchor the A’s starting rotation for years to come, beginning in 2020.

What does it tell us about 2020?
Luzardo showed no fear in his first taste of big league action, setting the tone for a highly anticipated 2020 campaign that will see him move into the starting rotation.

5) A’s clinch home field for Wild Card Game, Sept. 28
Ramón Laureano’s home run, and stout pitching, was all the A’s needed in a 1-0 win over the Mariners in Seattle to secure home-field advantage in the AL Wild Card Game.

What does it tell us about 2020?
If we’re to follow the progression -- playing on the road for the Wild Card Game in 2018 and home for the 2019 version -- next year the A’s should go even further, right? It doesn’t always work that way, but the A’s will enter 2020 with expectations to surpass the same fate they’ve been met with over the past two seasons.

Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.