2014 Oakland Athletics
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2014 Oakland Athletics / Franchise: Oakland Athletics / BR Team Page
Managed by Bob Melvin
History, Comments, Contributions
When the 2014 Oakland Athletics lost, 2-0, to the Cleveland Indians on March 31st, it marked the record 10th consecutive Opening Day loss for the Athletics. The game was scoreless until the Indians managed a pair of 9th-inning runs as newly-acquired closer Jim Johnson struggled in his first game for the green and gold and took the loss. The A's then suffered their first rainout at home since May 5, 1998 when the game scheduled for April 1st against the Indians was washed away and replayed as part of a split doubleheader the next day. They had to postpone another game only three days later when their scheduled April 4th meeting with the Seattle Mariners had to be scrapped because of a soggy field at the O.co Coliseum, as result of steady rain the previous night, when the field had been left uncovered, ironically because the groundskeepers had been hoping to help it dry out.
The Athletics decided to go all out in hope of getting back to the World Series for the first time since 1990. On July 4th, they obtained two front-line starting pitchers from the Chicago Cubs, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, giving up some of their top prospects in the effort, SS Addison Russell, OF Billy McKinney and P Dan Straily. They struck again at the trading deadline on July 31st, sending All-Star LF Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for P Jon Lester, also an All-Star, and OF Jonny Gomes. With all that pitching headed to Oakland, Tommy Milone became supernumerary even though he had pitched quite well, and he was dispatched to the Minnesota Twins in return for OF Sam Fuld. The A's also released Johnson that week, as he had failed to find his groove after his early struggles, while Sean Doolittle had stepped into breach and put up outstanding numbers as the team's new closer over the first half of the season.
After first reaching first place in the AL West on April 9th, the Athletics took a stranglehold on the position until August 19th, being either tied or in sole possession of first place the entire period except for two days in April when they were second. They had a lead of up to 6 games, but sputtered in mid-August when they lost 6 of 7 games from August 10-17 to be passed by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on an off-day. They managed to return into a tie for the lead by winning three of their next four games, including the first two of a three-game series with the Angels. However, before the game of August 24th, they had to make a number of moves because of injuries, including putting Doolittle on the disabled with an intercostal strain, where he joined SS Jed Lowrie, while two of three catchers, Stephen Vogt and John Jaso were unable to play the position because of injuries and 3B Josh Donaldson was also out of the line-up. The A's acquired catchers Geovany Soto from the Texas Rangers and Bryan Anderson from the Cincinnati Reds in separate transactions, and called up P Dan Otero from the minors. They also claimed SS Yunel Escobar who had been put on waivers by the Tampa Bay Rays but were unable to complete a deal for him. However, before any of these new additions could join the team, they lost the day's game, 9-4, to the Angels, to fall back into second place. A four-game series in Anaheim to finish the month of August brought more trouble, as the Athletics lost all four games to fall to five games back of the Angels. The team made one more move on August 31st, acquiring 1B Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox in return for a minor leaguer.
On September 17th, they were eliminated from contention for the AL West title which had seemed a lock only a month earlier. They were still alive in the wild card race, 1 1/2 games ahead of the Seattle Mariners for the second wild card berth. They had gone 11-25 since August 10th at that point.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Yoenis Cespedes, Josh Donaldson, Sean Doolittle, Scott Kazmir, Brandon Moss and Derek Norris