In a fitting afternoon, the Oakland Athletics clinch the American League West by virtue of someone else’s loss. With the Texas Rangers extra inning loss to the Kansas City Royals this afternoon, The A’s were assured of the division title for the second consecutive season.
The Rangers didn’t just lose a shot at the division, rather they lost it in epic fashion. In the bottom of the 10th inning of a scoreless game, Justin Maxwell of the Kansas City Royals hit a grand slam to crush the slim chances that remained for the Rangers.
Last year it may be fair to say that the A’s were a little surprised to win the division with all of the attention that was given preseason to the Anaheim Angels and Texas Rangers. Certainly many baseball writers were. This year the A’s expect more. They have accomplished at least one of their season goals but they will be hunting for more as they currently sit with the second best record in the American League, only 2 games behind the Boston Red Sox.
I don’t anticipate the A’s making it to the ALCS. The playoffs are a different breed altogether and I don’t think the A’s pitching staff is talented enough to shut down the Red Sox or the Tigers in a 5 or 7 game series.