Melvin, A's 'just trying to win' down the stretch

Manager not concerned with magic numbers

September 16th, 2018

ST. PETERSBURG -- Oakland manager Bob Melvin isn't getting too caught up with how the team makes it to the postseason, as long as it gets there.

"What is the magic number?" Melvin asked. "We're just trying to win as many games as we can."

The A's entered Saturday's game trailing the Astros by 3 1/2 games for the American League West lead. Oakland and New York currently own the two AL Wild Card spots, with the A's 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees and 7 1/2 ahead of the Mariners.

How Oakland's playoff path pans out will depend on how the team fares against its division rivals, something Melvin admits has been a struggle for them. Oakland will play division rivals in nine of its final 12 games, starting with a three-game set against the Angels on Tuesday.

"We got off to a really rough start within our division, but I think we are getting close to .500," Melvin said. "If we are going to finish this thing, it's going to have to be against the division, and we are going to have to play well to do it."

Cahill making progress

Starting pitcher , who had a trigger point injection to relieve tension in his rhombus muscle on Friday, did some light throwing in the outfield Sunday. Cahill is considered day-to-day after missing his last scheduled start because of inflammation in his upper back.

"He played a little catch today and felt OK," Melvin said. "We'll have a better indication once he gets off the mound and really has to extend. I think that's where he was having his troubles."

The next step will be a bullpen session once the team returns home on Tuesday. If there are no issues, Cahill could see game action as soon as "the latter part" of the team's six-game homestand, according to Melvin.