Well, it looks like Saturday’s post was just in time to jinx the A’s. The A’s had several opportunities to close out the Red Sox, but managed to find new ways to fumble the opportunities away.
Only the best teams find their way to the MLB playoffs. The games are more competitive and the pressure is more intense. The A’s have now lost eight consecutive playoff games in which a win would eliminate the opposing team. I have to believe that factors either insignificant or masked during the regular season become significant during the playoffs.
Of course, given the payroll constraints that the A’s operate under, there really isn’t much else they can do. And with the reduction of the big three to a big two due to Mark Mulder’s injury, the playoff A’s aren’t as good as the regular season A’s. But teams with big payrolls should start crunching numbers on playoff performances - looking to understand why the A’s are so effective in the second half of the regular season and so ineffectual during the playoffs.