OAKLAND -- One of the most impressive parts of last year's A's team was the way they beat up on bad teams. This season has been a completely different story.
Following their 9-2 loss to the last-place Mariners on Friday night, Oakland fell to 3-5 against Seattle on the season and just 9-9 against last-place teams in baseball. And that doesn't even include the A's 0-6 mark against lowly Toronto, currently 25-44 on the season and only out of last place thanks to the horrific Baltimore Orioles.
If the A's end up missing the postseason by a game or two, some of these losses could prove to be their undoing.
"We're chasing some good, good teams," said Friday's starter Chris Bassitt. "We just can't give any games away, and unfortunately, I kind of feel like I did tonight."
At 35-35, the A's are fortunate to still be well in the mix for a wild-card berth, just 2 1/2 games behind Texas for the second spot in the American League. But these types of uninspired losses against poor competition have to stop.
For whatever reason, the A's have really struggled to play good baseball against the Mariners this season. After losing the first two games of the season in Tokyo, Oakland dropped two more in Seattle last month. The A's did bounce back to sweep the Mariners later in May, but once again looked shaky in Friday's blowout loss.
"Everybody in the big leagues is going to give you a challenge and we just didn't play well enough to win the game tonight," said Oakland manager Bob Melvin. "(Seattle) won the first four games (against us) -- two in Tokyo and two at their place -- and then we ended up sweeping them (last series). Coming off a road trip with a day off, we'd expect to do a little better today. We just didn't. So come back out with a little better effort."
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The A's still have a chance to win this series against the Mariners, but now there's no margin for error. Right-hander Frankie Montas will get the ball Saturday, followed by Tanner Anderson on Sunday. Oakland could really use two wins.