The Oakland Athletics may have ended the perfect game bid, but they still lost Game 1.
The Oakland Athletics put forth an effort all too similar to years’ past in their 4-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox in Game 1 of the Wild Card round.
Fortunately, unlike in the past, this was only Game 1 and they will have a chance to rectify their disappointing loss. But this wasn’t exactly the start of the playoffs that the team was looking for.
For six innings, White Sox ace Lucas Giolito was perfect — something only a handful of other pitchers has ever done before in the playoffs. But as the A’s looked to avoid being on the wrong side of history, they also looked to remain competitive.
While Tommy La Stella would eventually break up the perfect game with a base hit into center field in the seventh inning, it was ultimately too late for an A’s team that struggled to get much of anything going at the plate.
Their only extended rally came in the eighth inning when the White Sox questionably trotted Giolito back out to the mound. Mark Canha drew a leadoff walk before Jake Lamb singled to make give the A’s runners at the corners.
A slow grounder from Ramon Laureano was enough to drive Canha in from third, but that was the only scoring the A’s would do on the night. In fact, save for a Sean Murphy single in the ninth, that was all the base runners the team managed.
The Oakland Athletics were dominated by the Chicago White Sox in Game 1.
The White Sox, on the other hand, jumped on starter Jesus Luzardo early — just as they have against every lefty starter that they’ve faced this year.
A second-inning homer off the bat of Adam Engel gave Chicago an early 1-0 lead and slugger Jose Abreu added to that lead with a two-run shot in the third. Finally, Yasmani Grandal hit a solo shot off Joakim Soria in the eighth to give the team what was, at the time, a 4-0 lead.
Perhaps the most telling stat is that the White Sox managed as many home runs as the Athletics did hit on the night You’re not going to win doing very often that.
The A’s will turn the ball over to their de-facto ace of 2020 in Chris Bassitt to pitch in a must-win Game 2 as Oakland looks to keep their postseason hopes alive.
But they’ll need a much better effort from both their starter and offense in Game 2 if they are to avoid elimination.
And for an A’s team that has seen their fair share of early exits over the last few years, they need all hands on deck as they look to buck that undesirable trend.