This series was poised to be a pretty even matchup and that’s exactly what we got.
Ace-like talent was on display, as one would expect from a postseason series opener. Chicago’s SP Lucas Giolito put up nothing but zeroes for six perfect frames before proving his mortality in the seventh against INF Tommy LaStella and eventually being chased in the eighth. Alas, it was too little too late for the A’s at that point. Giolito managed to keep an already shaky Oakland offense in check for most of the game. The home-run ball served as the offensive difference maker for the White Sox, as American League MVP candidate and Chi Sox veteran Jose Abreu smacked a two-run bomb in his play-off debut. Tim Anderson also continued to terrorize pitching with a three-hit day. The final score ended with the White Sox on top 4-1.
The tables turned in favor of the Green and Gold as SP Chris Bassitt shoved for seven shutout innings with a little help from his defense. OF Mark Canha specifically made a great catch in the third to maintain the shutout. The A’s offense attacked SP Dallas Keuchel in the early innings as INF Marcus Semien and OF/DH Khris Davis crushed home runs to give Oakland a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning. The Sox’s bullpen came in and held the score, while the typically lights-out A’s pen made it surprisingly interesting in the later innings. RHP Liam Hendriks didn’t quite have the stuff to get manager Bob Melvin a six-out save, as Chicago had the go-ahead runs on base by the time he was pulled. But LHP Jake Diekman got the Athletics a key groundball to end the game 5-3 to even the series.
The penultimate Game 3 was exactly what a baseball fan hoped for in a deciding game. The White Sox struck first with a gargantuan 487-foot blast by OF Luis Robert and a Nomar Mazara double. Manager Rick Rentaria was going to his bullpen left and right, though, and it only seemed like a matter of time before the A’s would get to somebody, especially after an injury to the flamethrowing LHP Garrett Crochet. Oakland looked disheveled and frustrated before C Sean Murphy hit a two-run homer to get them back in the game. At that point, Rentaria ran out of luck in the fourth inning as rookie RHP Matt Foster walked in the tying and go-ahead runs. A’s veteran INF Chad Pinder came through later in the fifth to add some much needed insurance. The A’s pen returned to form as one of the best in baseball and kept the game at a 6-4 score to break the elimination game curse. Oakland will move on to face the Houston Astros starting Monday.
I am a 22 year old writer and ultra-fan of baseball currently residing in Long Beach, California. I became a published author earlier in 2020 on Amazon and ran my own personal blog at dreamden.org. I’m majoring in communication studies and English and plan to graduate later this year. I’m a lover of art in all forms but especially the art of a strike zone.