Athletics clinch playoff spot, return to postseason for third consecutive season


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USATSI

The Oakland Athletics are going back to the postseason. Thanks to Friday night’s win over the Giants (OAK 6, SF 0), as well as losses by the Mariners (SD 6, SEA 1) and Tigers (CLE 1, DET 0), Oakland has clinched a spot in the expanded postseason field and is assured of being at least the No. 8 seed.

Right-hander Chris Bassitt, who has been a rotation savior this season, was the star Friday night, holding San Francisco scoreless across 6 2/3 innings. He has a 2.57 ERA in 10 starts this season. Matt Olson slugged a three-run home run to give Bassitt all the support he needed.

The A’s are going to the postseason despite getting subpar seasons from several players, including Marcus Semien and Khris Davis. Mike Fiers, Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas have struggled at times in the rotation, and star third baseman Matt Chapman recently went down with a season-ending hip injury. And yet, the A’s are postseason bound. 

Of course, Oakland has much loftier goals than simply clinching a postseason spot. The A’s have a seven-game lead over the second-place Astros in the AL West with nine games to play, and are looking for their first division title since 2013. Their magic number is two, and they can clinch as soon as Saturday.

This is the first time the A’s have qualified for the postseason in three consecutive seasons since 2012-14. They lost the 2018 and 2019 AL wild card game, however, and have not won a postseason round since the 2003 ALDS.

Remarkably, the low-payroll Athletics have now qualified for the postseason six times since 2012. Only the Dodgers (eight times) have played October baseball more often.

The A’s are the fourth team to clinch a postseason spot, joining the Dodgers, Rays and White Sox.





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