The Oakland Athletics are one game away from clinching the American League West division title for a second straight year. Last year, the Athletics earned the title on the last game of the regular season. This year, the A’s are not cutting it quite as close but the Texas Rangers are still holding on tightly just as they did in 2012. The Athletics are going to need to win today in the last game of the series against the Minnesota Twins in order to earn the AL West title.
This will not be a hard feat seeing as the Twins are 3-14 in their last 17 games while the Athletics are 15-5 for September. The Twins will put Cole De Vries on the mound while the Athletics will have rookie Sonny Gray. Vries has only pitched a total of 8 innings this whole season for the Twins and has a 7.88 ERA. To say he should be scared of the Athletics lineup is an understatement.
It seems as though the whole Athletics dugout has been hot lately. Just to name a few: Alberto Callaspo has a five game hitting streak and went 4-for-5 yesterday against the Twins. Third baseman Josh Donaldson has a .424 for his last ten games and has earned at least two hits in each game the A’s have played against the Twins. Then we have Kurt Suzuki who, at 34 plate appearances since re-joining the A’s, is now hitting .313/.353/.563. With the rest of the team hitting consistently, the Athletics look to score a high number of runs in today’s game.
Rookie Sonny Gray will be defending the mound for the A’s today. With the magic number being one, there is a lot of pressure on Gray to perform well. This should be no problem for him since he has had one solid start after another since moving up to the MLB from Triple-A in July. With a 2.50 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP, Gray is a consistent pitcher who gets the job done. This could be an amazing win for this young rookie seeing as it will also mean that the Athletics have clinched the AL West.
The Athletics have a season-high seven and a half game lead over the Rangers. It would make the victory sweeter if the Athletics won this game against the Twins to clinch the AL West, especially since it is their last home game of the season. Despite a third sewage incident, the Oakland Athletics are excited about the possibility to clinch the series at the O.co Coliseum surrounded by their fans. Just like last night, the champagne will be ready if the Athletics do indeed win or if the Rangers lose.