Oakland A’s unique season comes to an end
on October 13, 2020
The Oakland Athletics played their final baseball game of the season on Oct. 8, losing 11-6 to the Houston Astros in the American League Division Series (ALDS). The Athletics end their postseason run as the Astros move on to play the Tampa Bay Rays in the next round of the playoffs.
Oakland’s 11-6 loss ends a unique season for baseball and the professional sports world. Major League Baseball (MLB), in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, organized a shortened 60-game season after shutting down spring training in March. In addition to fewer games, teams played in stadiums without fans and primarily against opponents in their geographic region. Oakland won the American League West title for the first time since 2013 and finished the season with a record of 36-24.
“Our goal is to win the World Series. So I think that you lose in the ALDS, it’s not exactly where you want to be,” said shortstop Marcus Semien at Oakland’s final postgame press conference of the year. “We knew that we had the pieces to go further and our goal is always the World Series, but we can’t hang our heads, we played good baseball.”
In a series with 24 home runs – the most in ALDS history – Oakland fought to the last out behind the bat of Roman Laureano. The center fielder hit two home runs in the final game of the season, accounting for four of the team’s six runs.
“We gotta keep our head up, keep working, keep dreaming about moving forward and winning a World Series,” said Laureano.
Oakland has not made it out of the playoff divisional round since 2006, losing the Wild Card game in each of the last two seasons. Their playoff run ends at the hands of a Houston team that placed second in the American League West and were the subject of an MLB investigation over the offseason that found them guilty of sign-stealing in previous years.
After the game, outfielder Mark Canha spoke about where the team wanted to end the season: “It’s a failure, we wanted to win the world series. Anything short of that is falling short of our goal,” he said. “It hurts, it hurts a lot.”
Manager Bob Melvin, in his tenth season leading the team, talked about wanting to reach the World Series and echoed the shortcomings of the 2020 season after the game: “We battled to the end, as you’d expect. It just wasn’t enough.”
Oakland will begin the offseason with a group of players entering free agency, including Semien and closer Liam Hendriks. Opening Day of the next MLB season will be April 1, 2021.
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