A wild-card game isn’t unfamiliar territory for the A’s, but a three-game series sure is.
The A’s will face the Chicago White Sox beginning Tuesday for the first MLB playoffs of its kind, and in sticking to the weirdness of a 60-game season, Oakland has to learn about a Chicago team they haven't faced all season long. That means they're hitting the books a little extra hard.
“It gives us a little bit more work, but you know what, it gives them a little more work too because they haven’t seen us,” A’s catcher Sean Murphy said Monday.
“So it’s not an advantage or disadvantage either way not knowing those guys as well, but we’ll make sure we do our due diligence and get those reports ready.”
Murphy has done just that.
“I’ve gone over it some already,” he said. “I’ve looked at their hitters. In a couple minutes, I’m going to a meeting and we’re going to discuss it. That’s what today will be for -- to make sure we’re all on the same page as these guys. At the end of the day, we got to execute our pitches and do what we have to do.”
It'll be a lot to remember, especially with this slugging White Sox team.
The Sox have José Abreu on their team who is an RBI machine. His 60 RBI in 60 games is the first time a White Sox player ever has finished the year with as many RBIs as games played. He also has a league-leading 76 hits. Abreu truly blossomed into an AL MVP caliber player this season.
For shortstop Marcus Semien, going up against his former organization -- Semien was part of the A's-White Sox Jeff Samardzija trade in 2014 -- doesn’t play too much into his preparation.
“We’re going to prepare the same way we always have,” Semien said on Monday. “I watch video, I look at percentages, I try and study everything I can, and of course when you get in the game, you go compete, you want to know everything they’ve been doing all year.”