Best record in the National League? Yawn.
The Oakland Athletics rolled their collective eyes after they rolled over the Pittsburgh Pirates, who had entered the three-game series against the A’s tied for the NL’s top record with the St. Louis Cardinals. It was another impressive performance for the Athletics, who again conquered one of baseball’s best teams. Oakland took two of three from Pittsburgh after also taking two of three from St. Louis at the end of June.
It wasn’t easy, however, as the A’s were fortunate to eke out back-to-back 2-1 victories in the first two games of the series. Nonetheless, the Athletics did what they do best—they beat their opponents at their own game. The Pirates own the most dominant pitching staff in the majors, sporting a ridiculous 3.09 team earned run average, with 13 shutouts and the lowest opponents’ batting average (.224).
Pittsburgh’s arms were indeed on display this series, as the Pirates only allowed Oakland to score four runs total on 13 hits. But the A’s scored just enough to get the job done twice, improving to 13-5 against the NL this season.
It was another rather workman-like display by the A’s, who won their fifth straight series, three of which came against some of the NL’s elite ball clubs. Oakland has now won 10 of its past 14 games and sit stop the AL West with the second-best record in baseball, 54-38. If this was indeed a potential World Series preview, well, the Athletics can walk away happy with the outcome of this matchup.
In review, here are five important storylines from Oakland’s series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.