by Andrew Pasquini
It is now September and with the Oakland Athletics being where they are in the standings, every game from this point on will have more meaning than the last. Last week, the Athletics had one of their worst weeks in a while, dropping four of seven games against the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners.
Monday: Houston, L 11-4
Tuesday: Houston, W 4-3
Wednesday: Houston, L 5-4
Thursday: Seattle, L 7-1
Friday: Seattle, W 7-5
Saturday: Seattle, L 8-7
Sunday: Seattle, W 8-2
Hitter of the week: Stephen Piscotty
Piscotty has been a consistent part of the Athletics lineup and this week he finished with a slash line of .296/.333/.667 with three home runs and ten runs driven in. He would hit two home runs on Sunday against Seattle, giving him 21 on the season, putting him only one behind his career-high of the 22 he hit in 2016. The only game this week Piscotty didn’t have a hit in was Tuesday against Houston. Excluding that game, Piscotty went 8-for-23 on the week, good for a .348 batting average.
Pitcher of the week: Fernando Rodney
Rodney has been lights out since the Athletics acquired him at the start of August and his hot streak continued into this past week. He appeared in four games, striking out four, walking one, and allowing just five hits while collecting a hold on Friday. Rodney only gave up one earned run, which was on Sunday in an 8-2 win but that earned run was the first run he’s allowed in twelve appearances with Oakland.
Win of the week: Tuesday night against Houston
The Athletics were able to jump out to an early 3-1 lead after a three-run home run from Matt Olson in the third inning but the offense would only muster one more hit after that until the ninth inning. The Astros would go to score two in the fifth inning to tie the game at three. In the top of the ninth, Ramon Laureano would draw a walk, followed by a single from Jonathan Lucroy, which was Oakland’s first hit since the fourth inning. Nick Martini would follow up with a ground-rule double that would score Laureano to give the Athletics a 4-3, a lead they would not surrender. Blake Treinen would retire the Astros in order in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Athletics the victory.
Play of the week: Ramon Laureano’s over-the-should catch
Ramon Laureano 😯
The #Athletics' No. 21 prospect continues to wow with his defense, this time with an over the shoulder grab as the @Athletics take on the #Astros. Watch live: https://t.co/6DZz1ci3H1 pic.twitter.com/8bdUoEIZh1
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 29, 2018
As it stands, the Athletics still hold a playoff spot, holding a 5.5 game lead over the Mariners in the Wild Card but trail the Astros by 2.5 in the American League West. Oakland can make ground on the top Wild Card spot as they host the Yankees for three games and then close out a nine-game home stand over the weekend against the Texas Rangers. The Athletics currently have a 85-56 record with just 24 games remaining.