ANAHEIM -- The A's were three outs away from capping the regular season in winning fashion on Sunday afternoon, before right-hander Chris Hatcher was tagged for three runs in a 5-4 walk-off loss at Angel Stadium.It didn't much matter, though.The postseason awaits these A's, who came up short with a
ANAHEIM -- The A's were three outs away from capping the regular season in winning fashion on Sunday afternoon, before right-hander Chris Hatcher was tagged for three runs in a 5-4 walk-off loss at Angel Stadium.
It didn't much matter, though.
The postseason awaits these A's, who came up short with a chance to win 98 games for the first time since 2002. Still, they're plenty pleased with a 97-65 campaign that marks a 22-win improvement from last season.
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"It's great," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Shoot, we're thrilled with where we are at this point, and now the fun starts. It's not like the season hasn't been fun, but the postseason is a different level, so everybody is excited about getting out there."
A winner-take-all showdown with the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. PT in New York.
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"I feel like we're ready to get there and get it going," designated hitter Khris Davis said. "We know we got a challenge ahead of us, but that's when we play our best."
Davis, who was in pursuit of 50 homers, sat on 48 as the clock ran out but finished 0-for-2 -- "I was trying, and it never works out that way," he said -- to post a .247 batting average for the fourth consecutive season. Stephen Piscotty and Franklin Barreto delivered the big flies, meanwhile, connecting for two-run shots.
Piscotty, one of five A's players to surpass the 20-homer mark, finished with a career-high 27.
"That might have been as good a ball as he's hit all year," Melvin said. "We were trying to get everyone at least an at-bat, and if they were comfortable with a couple we were gonna do that, but after that one Stephen seemed to be comfortable with coming out, so it was a good way to end his season, and it was a heckuva season."
Lefty Brett Anderson gave the A's three innings, allowing two runs ahead of a bullpen takeover. The A's, needing to provide postseason tuneups to several of their key relief arms, did just that with Lou Trivino, Yusmeiro Petit and Ryan Buchter.
All three secured scoreless innings, as did J.B. Wendelken -- the right-hander turned in his 10th consecutive scoreless appearance -- and Emilio Pagan, ahead of Hatcher's entrance. Wendelken's continued excellence has likely earned him a spot on the Wild Card Game roster.
"It's been performance," Melvin said. "Mostly mop-up stuff to start and maybe a couple innings of length if we needed if we were behind, and the next thing you know he's in Seattle going through the middle of the order a couple times, and you look up and you look at the numbers, it's been a quick ascend, and for good reason. He's got good stuff, and he's gaining confidence. We think he's going to be a heckuva pitcher."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Catcher Beau Taylor smacked a double to right field in the fifth inning for his first Major League hit, reaching second safely but only after slipping on his way to second.
"That was great," Melvin said. "He's never going to forget that. There's first hits, and then there's first hits that are a little more dramatic than others. It wasn't a home run, but when you faceplant going around first base, it's one you're never going to forget. Everybody was pretty excited about that one -- both ends of it, the hit and the faceplant."
HE SAID IT
"That was a nice parting gift that Shohei left me." -- Anderson, who took a Shohei Ohtani line drive to his buttocks in the third inning
The A's will head to New York to prepare for Wednesday's AL Wild Card Game with the Yankees. Neither team has announced pitching plans for the one-and-done affair in the Bronx, scheduled for 5 p.m. PT on TBS.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.