Bay Area Buzz 9/29: Wild Card Matchups for A’s, Giants


Bay Area Topics

Wild Card Matchup: A’s

"If you’re watching television, the analysts are more than likely picking the Kansas City Royals over the Oakland Athletics in Tuesday’s wild card game based solely on the fact that KC went 5-2 against Oakland this season. Sure, that happened, but it’s not the whole story. This is the whole story.In August, when these two teams squared off, the Royals were white-hot. From August 1st through the 27th, the boys in blue went 19-6, and even tasted first place in the AL Central. Funny, they’re in this wild card game with Oakland, so something must have happened. What happened was they came back to Earth, and went 15-11 in September.Those measly two wins that the Oakland Athletics stole from the juggernaut that was Kansas City were started by none other than Jon Lester. The A’s outscored the Royals 19-6 in those two contests for good measure. Feeling better about the A’s chances now?"

Jason Burke, Swingin’ A’s

Wild Card Matchups: Giants

"You say the San Francisco Giants have to play in a one-game playoff, against the Pittsburgh Pirates, winner take all? And that the Pirates are a red-hot team, one that has won 18 of its last 24 games (.750)? And they have to play at PNC Park, on the other side of the country, where the atmosphere is frenetic? Then I say grand, because that means the Giants are right where they want to be, the underdog amidst a pack of hungry wolves.The Giants are most comfortable when the odds are the greatest against them. Remember San Francisco being down in the 2012 playoffs, two games to none, against the Cincinnati Reds, and doing what had not been done all season against the Reds? And what had never been done in the NLDS before? Win three games in a row, in Cincinnati, and come back to win the series, three games to two?Remember the Orange and Black being down three games to one, in that same playoff hunt in 2012, against the St. Louis Cardinals, and coming back to win three straight to take the NLCS? Remember Barry Zito having the outing of his career in Game 5, throwing seven-and-two-thirds innings of shutout ball, and leading the Giants to the win that set them on track to come from behind and win the National League Pennant?My guess is that the Giants would have preferred the home field advantage in the wild-card chase, or better still, the division title to avoid the whole sudden-death format altogether. But that is dead horse country. They are about to play the seventh game of a playoff series, one that has already gone 4-2, the Pirates’ way.I’m talking about the season series, three in Pittsburgh in early May, and three in San Francisco, in late July, in which the Pirates took two out of three both times. That means that the Pirates have already won two-thirds, and the Giants are too good of a team to lose five of seven."

Mark O’Neill, Around the Foghorn