The Oakland Athletics’ loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday was the latest in a string of disappointing performances in playoff elimination games by the club.
The A’s entered this year’s American League Wild Card Game with the home field advantage. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as the Rays came away with a 5-1 victory and a date with the Houston Astros in the ALDS.
For Oakland, it was their ninth consecutive loss in postseason winner-take-all games — a streak that goes back to 2000. The A’s have also loss 15 of their past 16 potential clinching games.
A's extend their losing streak in winner-take-all games to 9.
That's the longest such streak in MLB history pic.twitter.com/Fx2JnbIP7M
— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) October 3, 2019
For the second year in a row, the A's win 97 games but lose wild-card game; Tampa takes it 5-1. Oakland has lost nine consecutive winner-take-all games, the longest such streak in big-league history, and dropped 15 of its past 16 potential clinch games.
— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 3, 2019
Oakland won 97 games for the second consecutive season this year, which is their highest total since winning 103 in 2002. However, the sour taste of extending an unfortunate streak will be cause for questions that need answering during the offseason.
Team executive Billy Beane has long described the playoffs as a craps shoot because they are prone to small sample size results and flukes. But after losing nine straight elimination games, Beane might have to wonder whether his team has just been unlucky, or whether something more is going on.