After clinching a playoff berth and properly celebrating last week, the surging A's closed out the regular season Sunday and are preparing for October baseball.Plenty of questions must be asked of them in the meantime. Let's take a look at some of the FAQs as they head into the postseason:Q.
After clinching a playoff berth and properly celebrating last week, the surging A's closed out the regular season Sunday and are preparing for October baseball.
Plenty of questions must be asked of them in the meantime. Let's take a look at some of the FAQs as they head into the postseason:
Q. Who will the A's face, where and when?
A. The A's will face the Yankees in the American League Wild Card Game presented by Hankook Tire on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium at 5 p.m. PT on TBS.
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Q. Who will start the Wild Card Game for the A's?
A. The A's announced on Tuesday that right-hander Liam Hendriks will get the start as an opener to pitch the first inning against the Yankees. Following Hendriks' exit, A's general manager David Forst said, "The possibilities are infinite. We'll plan for as many possibilities as we can, but everything will still be on the table up until game time."
Q. So how many pitchers will the A's carry?
Likely 11, which would allow them to tackle the game with five bench players on hand, a list that will include a backup catcher in Josh Phegley, utility man Chad Pinder and outfielder Matt Joyce. One of the bench spots will go to either Mark Canha or Nick Martini; both will be on the roster regardless, but who gets to start will depend on the opposing pitcher. The last spot will be saved for a pinch-running option, and Franklin Barreto gets the nod over Dustin Fowler here.
The A's are expected to carry one starter on the roster to go with right-handers Hendriks, Blake Treinen, Jeurys Familia, Fernando Rodney, Shawn Kelley, Lou Trivino, Yusmeiro Petit, Emilio Pagan and J.B. Wendelken and left-hander Ryan Buchter.
Q. How have the A's fared on the road?
A. Quite well, actually. The A's went 47-34 away from Oakland, which was tied with the Yankees for the third-best road record in the AL. The A's entered Sunday batting .263 with a Major League-leading 134 home runs and an average of 5.50 runs per game on the road. In contrast, they hit .241 with 91 home runs and an average of 4.56 runs per game at the Coliseum, where they finished 50-31.
Q. What could the A's lineup look like?
A. Depends. The Yankees will start Luis Severino. With a right-hander starting, Oakland's will have Nick Martini in the leadoff spot, followed by followed by Matt Chapman, Jed Lowrie, Khris Davis, Matt Olson, Stephen Piscotty, Ramon Laureano, Marcus Semien and Jonathan Lucroy.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.