Athletics at Point of Urgency as AL Wild-Card Race Thins Out

A's feeling sense of urgency in thinning AL wild-card race originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

After Friday night’s loss, Athletics outfielder Mark Canha said the clubhouse was quiet, and to be frank, “it sucked,” how the team lost in walk-off fashion.

The vibe wasn't much better Saturday after the A's fell 10-8 to the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

A sense of urgency is building.

“Absolutely there is,” A's outfielder Chad Pinder said after the game. “There’s no denying that, especially at this point in this season, as big as it is, you really do have to take it one day at a time, try not to scoreboard-watch and just take care of what you have to take care of. If you get caught up in that and start looking ahead, you miss out on what’s right in front of you. You just got to take care of business each day and focus on what’s in front of us, and that’s tomorrow’s game.”

A's manager Bob Melvin explained that Friday night's loss still was fresh in the team's mind. 

“Wasn’t a very good feeling certainly coming into today,” Melvin said. “You put that away and we get off to a little bit of a slow start and then we’re down big and to be able to come back and put up a crooked number there, a five-spot would lend to some confidence going into tomorrow.”

The A’s did put up five runs in the ninth, which was one positive takeaway, but outfielder Chad Pinder, one of the leaders on the team, knows this is a time where the team can’t go through a prolonged down stretch. Especially with the wild-card standings the way they are.

The A’s head into Sunday’s game having lost the first two of the three-game series with Toronto. 

The New York Yankees lead the AL Wild-Card race with a 78-57 record. The Boston Red Sox are right behind them at 79-59, with the A’s (74-62) four games behind the second wild-card spot.

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In the midst of this tough stretch, the A’s know they need to use their “short-term” memory if they want to stay in the race. 

“It’s just baseball,” Pinder said. “There’s been stretches where our staff has given up, one or two runs and we can’t muster anything together, it’s just baseball. It is what it is. We got to find a way to get the job done as a team and get back at it tomorrow. We got to turn the page and turn it quick because tomorrow’s just as big of a game as least last two ones were.”

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