NEW YORK -- As the Athletics dissect Wednesday night's 7-2 loss to the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game, they no doubt will conclude they squandered too many opportunities to escape Yankee Stadium with a victory.Yankees starter Luis Severino opened the game with six strikeouts over three shutout
NEW YORK -- As the Athletics dissect Wednesday night's 7-2 loss to the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game, they no doubt will conclude they squandered too many opportunities to escape Yankee Stadium with a victory.
Yankees starter Luis Severino opened the game with six strikeouts over three shutout innings, dominating with a high-90s fastball. The A's made some adjustments and got him on the ropes in fourth inning, but they couldn't deliver the knockout punch.
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Trailing, 2-0, in the fourth, the Athletics had a chance to cut into the Yanks' lead, loading the bases with two out, but Marcus Semien struck out to end the frame.
It would prove to be emblematic of the night for the A's, who stranded nine runners and went hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position.
And inning later, Jonathan Lucroy and Nick Martini opened the fifth with singles. Once again, Oakland failed to capitalize. Severino was lifted in favor of Dellin Betances, who promptly shut down another chance for the Athletics to get on the scoreboard. Both Matt Chapman and Jed Lowrie flied out, and Khris Davis struck out to end the inning.
"It's frustrating because those opportunities don't come often," said Davis, whose two-run homer in the eighth kept the A's from being shut out. "Whenever they do, you have to find a way to get the job done."
"We had a chance, but we couldn't get those big hits," Lucroy said. "We couldn't manufacture those runs in there. We were down early, 2-0. That was a tough start for us."
Despite the lost opportunities, Oakland's clubhouse was quiet, but not sad after the game. Despite beginning the season with the lowest payroll in baseball, the Athletics defied the odds, winning 97 games and reaching the postseason.
"We were happy to be here, but we wanted to win, we expected to win," Chapman said. "It's disappointing. But coming into the season, nobody counted on us. Nobody expected us to do anything. I'm proud of my teammates and proud to be on this team. I think it's just the beginning for us."
Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.