The Oakland A’s were on their high horse riding into Monday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels after sweeping their would-be 1st place challenger, the Texas Rangers, and were swiftly knocked back to reality after being stomped 12-1. Jarrod Parker, Oakland’s starter had gone 19 straight starts without losing a game but he lost that streak on what is close to his last start of the season. However, that could end up being a good thing for Parker.
When playoff baseball hits, every game becomes life or death and players have enough on their minds, not including personal records they may be setting for themselves. So with Parker losing this streak and his 9 game win streak along with it, he is more grounded before the playoffs and remembers what he has to do to win. Now that the pressure of the streak is off his back, Parker should be more focuses and ready to perform.
That goes for the entire team as well. Losing by 11 runs to the streaking Angels team isn’t the worst thing that could happen, especially with Texas losing as well, but it helps to put into perspective what is at stake and what it will take to be successful in the playoffs against seasoned veteran teams.
Currently it looks like the A’s will be taking on the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the ALDS once again but unlike last year, Oakland has played well against them. They were a blown save away from a 4 game sweep just a few weeks ago. Getting your losing out of the way before the playoffs is an art and the A’s need to figure out what to fix and how to fix it before then.
Sonny Gray is up for round 2 tonight against the Angels and with the A’s magic number now at 7, every game is important.