When you’ve started the season with six consecutive losses you would take a win any which way you could get one.
The A’s 4-3 ten-inning victory over the Dodgers on Wednesday was much more than that, though. Against the reigning World Series champions, the A’s showed both their quality and also their battling spirit.
Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 3-2, I felt that it had already been a positive performance even if we were about to fall to an 0-7 start. When you face a team like the Dodgers, and with a pitcher of Trevor Bauer’s calibre on the mound, you know it’s going to be a tough afternoon and that you may just have to tip your cap and accept they outplayed you on the day.
What you need to do in such games is to battle, to work hard to keep the game close so that you stay in the contest and at least give yourselves a chance; in other words, precisely what we had struggled to do in the previous six games.
Yet the reality was that another loss, regardless of how it came, would further increase the pressure on the team and this rarely leads to a good outcome.
In baseball, more than most sports, you really can try too hard. You could see that in the team’s play, especially in the opening Astros series with all the baggage around it. Things weren’t quite going our way and players were desperately trying to make something happen. Hitters were trying to get three runs back with one swing rather than keeping the line moving, pitchers were trying to be too precise with their location and letting hitters get away from them.
It’s easy to tell someone to relax and just play their natural game; not so easy to do when you’re the one under pressure and getting a kicking. The fact that the A’s were able to fight through the difficulties and then go on to win this game says a lot about the character in the team.
It’s only one win, but it’s one big win in respect of the confidence of the team.
Live stream success!
As always, we were glad to play our part at A’s UK with a pre-game live stream that certainly lifted our spirits, even if our claims on directly boosting the morale of the team may well be disproved by basic common sense and logic!
We had a whole bunch of people joining in on the chat over the half-hour. The interaction with A’s fans across the world that can be generated by livestreams is one of the reasons why we are planning to do them regularly (once or twice a week, where possible) throughout the season. You can watch the livestream back on our YouTube channel:
Dom was proudly wearing one of his just-delivered Strength In Unity pins that are already a source of lust and envy. We are planning to record our next podcast episode on Sunday and I’m sure we’ll be doing an A’s UK give-away competition as part of that, so keep an eye on our Twitter feed and subscribe to the podcast via your favourite platform so that you can get involved.
There’s no let-up for the A’s as we head straight into Houston for a three-game revenge mission against the Astros.
The first two are night-games, but Saturday’s game is on at a UK-friendly time and will also be broadcast on UK TV, so is a perfect opportunity for fans of all non-Houston teams to do the right thing and to cheer us on! Us A’s fans should take full advantage of Saturday evening too as we are in the strange position of not playing on Sunday.