Despite starting off their playoff run with two straight losses and being just one more away from elimination, the Oakland Athletics have learned much about their team's weaknesses and still have a chance to right the ship.
Many of us expected big things from the A's this postseason after their lively performance in the second half, when they went 51-25 to close out the regular season. But they ran into an angry force that might be not just the best pitcher, but the best baseball player in the world in Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.
One thing they learned from Game 1 was that they can't afford to face Verlander again if they're going to get past the Tigers.
On top of that, where is the youthful energy we saw from this Oakland team that was apparent just days prior? Is the pressure getting to this team finally?
It's unclear if the pressure is getting to them or if they just haven't been executing. But regardless, it causes you to wonder and there's no excuse for it.
They're quickly starting to learn the worth of experience. This A's team prided themselves on being young, reckless and passionate, but now that the lights are on and every swing matters so much more, they're getting rattled.
The prime example is A's player Coco Crisp hitting a solo home run in the first inning of Game 1, only for that to be the only run his team would score all day. Crisp is 32-years-old, one of the leaders on this team and has playoff experience.
Suddenly, a surprising playoff contender like Baltimore nabbing Jim Thome doesn't look like too bad of an idea.
One bright spot in Game 2 was Yoenis Cespedes, who went 2-for-5 and knocked in a RBI, but they need more leadership than that if they want to advance to the ALCS.
If there's anything that Oakland learned from these first two games of the playoffs, it's that their lack of experience is going to hurt them mightily. They'll have to excel so much more in other areas of the game to pick up the slack, and that's not going to be easy for this young team.
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