It's been almost 30 years since the Oakland Athletics won the World Series, and the team probably won't be winning it this year. With a 39-50 record right now at the All-Star break, the A's are 21 games out of first place in the American League West, and they also face a 7.5-game deficit in the chase for the second AL wild-card playoff spot. Oakland itself has overcome large midsummer disadvantages before (remember 2012?), but A's fans shouldn't expect it to happen this year. The team is just too inexperienced right now, and it's time to think about 2018 already.
That doesn't mean this team hasn't had its big moments, though. Remember that four-game home sweep of the New York Yankees? We do. Besides, if you take the Houston Astros off the Oakland schedule, the team is 37-40 this year, which looks a lot better than the real record. The Astros are running away with the division title, and the A's have just a 2-10 record against Houston. The rest of the first half has looked much better than that, in truth, even if the season itself seems lost right now.
In that frame of mind, here are the five best A's games of the first part of the season. Enjoy the memories!
5. A's 3, Red Sox 2: Any win over Boston is nice, simply because Red Sox fans at the Coliseum are pretty obnoxious. On May 19, Oakland won this one in walk-off fashion, the best kind of victory. A's starter Kendall Graveman battled AL All-Star Game starter Chris Sale to a draw, and in the tenth inning, Oakland right fielder Mark Canha hit the game-winning home run to send the fans home in a frenzy.
4. A's 4, Yankees 1: One week later in the Bronx on May 26, it was A's starter Sean Manaea that dazzled an AL East opponent. The young lefty tossed seven shutout innings at Yankee Stadium, while the Oakland lineup scored twice in both the eighth and the ninth inning to secure the win. Catcher Stephen Vogt hit a two-run HR in the ninth inning to clinch the victory.
3. A's 2, Astros 1: At the time of this road win on April 29, Oakland was just four games behind Houston in the AL West standings. A's starter Andrew Triggs fired seven shutout innings, while striking out nine Astros hitters. Two solo HRs made the difference for Oakland: Second baseman Jed Lowrie (fourth inning) and left fielder Khris Davis (eighth inning) did the honors. The A's have beaten the Astros just once in eight tries since this win.
2. A's 3, Angels 2: This was the third straight walk-off win for Oakland during a six-game home stand in early May. The A's had beaten the Detroit Tigers on Saturday and Sunday with walk-off efforts, and then on Monday night May 8, they did it again, this time against Los Angeles. It was Lowrie this time with the game-ending HR, in the 11th inning. Oakland's pitching held the Angels scoreless for the final ten innings of the game.
1. A's 8, Yankees 7: The first win of the four-game sweep over New York at the Coliseum came on June 15, and yes, it was another walk-off celebration at the Coliseum. This back-and-forth game saw the Oakland bullpen blow leads in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings before the Yankees took a one-run lead in the tenth. It didn't seem the A's deserved to win, in truth. But Khris Davis hit a pop fly to short right field that dropped in, enabling center fielder Rajai Davis and shortstop Chad Pinder to score the tying and winning runs in dramatic fashion. The Yankees have yet to recover from this game, posting just a 7-14 record since the crazy loss.