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and built on the lead when Halil Altintop

  • October 30, 2018
    OAKLAND, Calif. [b]Cheap USC Jerseys Authentic[/b] . - Support his big moves or not, Billy Beane made one thing perfectly clear: The Oakland Athletics season probably would have ended sooner without Jon Lester a part of it.Oakland had the man on the mound it traded for to shine in these very moments, and the As summed up their topsy-turvy season in a single game, over a span of innings a€” and extra innings.A roster of tired, banged-up bodies that owned baseballs best record as recently as mid-August and stumbled through September is now headed into the off-season after a 9-8, 12-inning loss to the Kansas City Royals in Tuesdays wild-card game.Beane went all in on July 31, dealing slugging left fielder Yoenis Cespedes to the Boston Red Sox for Lester, the veteran left-hander who seemed poised to pitch his team into the division series before Oakland collapsed once more late this season.Simply put, if we dont have Jon Lester, I dont think we make the playoffs, Beane said Wednesday as players packed up their belongings in a quiet clubhouse.The small-budget As beat out the big spenders in the Lester sweepstakes. Then Wednesday, Beane bid Lester a likely farewell as he heads off for a big-money contract elsewhere.An offence that had been prolific to that point almost immediately went into a long funk, sparking questions and scrutiny about Beanes decision to part ways with someone as dynamic in the middle of the order as Cespedes, the two-time reigning Home Run Derby champ. The Cuban defector signed a $36 million, four-year contract before the 2012 season.Manager Bob Melvin handed the ball to Lester on Tuesday with the season on the line and Oakland built him a nice lead that appeared would be plenty, and the recent struggles might all be forgotten as things started fresh. Yet that 7-3 cushion wouldnt last against a determined Royals team, a starved franchise and fan base celebrating the organizations first playoffs since 1985.The As went 88-74 to get back to the playoffs, failing to stay with the red-hot Angels down the stretch after Oakland won the previous two AL West crowns.A microcosm of that game was a microcosm of our year, theres some truth to that, Melvin said.The September collapse baffled all involved, Melvin and his players alike were regularly at a loss for words in describing the various ways they were failing to come through a€” or, like Tuesday night and some many others recently, to finish off an opponent when the opportunity arose.Im proud of the fact we went to the playoffs for a third time in a row, Beane said.Had the As advanced, neither centre fielder Coco Crisp nor catcher Geovany Soto would have been available because of injuries sustained Tuesday.Beane speaks of small windows of opportunity for this club.He got aggressive this summer to give the As their best shot at a deep October run this time on the heels of consecutive five-game losses in the division series to Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers.Lester was the perfect pitcher to take Oakland further at last, just as he did leading the Red Sox to a World Series championship only 12 months ago. He threw a no-hitter against the Royals in 2008 to boot.Beanes other deals included the July 4 acquisition of right-handers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel from the Chicago Cubs for three top prospects.On Aug. 31, the GM traded away pitching prospect Nolan Sanburn for Adam Dunn, who reached the playoffs for the first time but never saw the field Tuesday and has plans to retire without a single post-season at-bat. He had counted on this being his chance in his 14th major league season.Horrible, its an awful feeling, said Melvin, who fully expected to be in the ALDS and use Dunn. I have so much respect for Adam Dunn that it kills me he didnt get in that game.At the start last spring, the As lost two top starters to season-ending elbow injuries and eventual Tommy John surgeries in Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin. Given an organizational focus on building depth from the bottom of the farm system on up, Oakland had the arms to withstand those losses, and, eventually, even the excess with the additions of Hammel and Samardzija that Beane traded left-hander Tommy Milone to the Twins when he became the odd-man out and found himself in the minors despite an impressive winning stretch.Now, Oakland must decide who will play shortstop in 2015 given Jed Lowrie is set to become a free agent at a position that wont have many.Its somewhat cathartic for us to start working on next year, Beane said. Theres still a lot of good pieces here. Were very much a jigsaw puzzle. [b]Authentic USC Jerseys[/b] . "Its embarrassing what were doing here," leading scorer Phil Kessel said Wednesday. The most recent failed season came with even more pain than the six that preceded it. There was no hint of an impending implosion when the Leafs came roaring out of the all-star break with back-to-back games against Pittsburgh -- a 5-4 shootout loss followed by a 1-0 win the next night. [b]Matt Barkley College Jersey[/b] . For one, he still gets to crank the intensity to the max. "I push pretty angry. I ran pretty angry too though, but I have fun doing it," Lumsden said.BERLIN -- Schalke defeated Hannover 2-0 to maintain its perfect start to the year and consolidate fourth place in the Bundesliga on Sunday. Jefferson Farfan opened the scoring in the 39th, converting from close range after Sead Kolasinac outran Hannover defender Marcelo on the left. Farfan instigated Schalkes second goal five minutes later, playing through a brilliant ball for Atsuto Uchida, who cut back for Klaas Jan Huntelaar and he in turn left it for the better positioned Max Meyer to stroke home. Huntelaar headed over early in the second half and Meyer drew a good stop from Hannover keeper Ron-Robert Zieler as the home side came closest to adding to the scoreline. "I think we played very well," Meyer said. "Thats three wins from three since the winter break. I think the training camp together did us well. It brought us closer together as a team." Schalke opened a four-point gap over Borussia Moenchengladbach to consolidate the last Champions League qualification place, while Hannover remains 10th after Tayfun Korkuts first defeat as coach. "Its a shame we couldnt get a point here," Zieler said. Already without injured captain Benedikt Hoewedes, Schalke has further concerns after defensive midfielder Roman Neustaedter went off with a knee injury in the first half, while Uchida went down clutching his knee late in the game. Schalke hosts Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions LLeague round-of-16 tie on Feb. [b]USC Jerseys From China[/b]. 26. Augsburg continued its fine Bundesliga season with a 4-1 win at Stuttgart earlier Sunday, condemning the home side to its fifth consecutive loss. The visitors opened the scoring against the run of play in the 35th minute through Arkadiusz Milik and built on the lead when Halil Altintop sprung the offside trap for Andre Hahn to finish with aplomb in the 44th. Stuttgarts hopes effectively evaporated with Vedad Ibisevics sending off in the 53rd. TV replays showed the Bosnian striker struck out at Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Brackers face in an off-the-ball incident, leading the Augsburg defender to fall to the ground. Hahn scored his second of the game three minutes later for his ninth of the season. Konstantin Rausch pulled one back for Stuttgart in the 62nd, but Tobias Werner ended any hopes of an unlikely comeback two minutes later. Augsburg stretched its unbeaten run to eight league games and climbed to eighth, while Stuttgart is just two points off the relegation zone after its seventh defeat in eight games. "Its a difficult period. There were many negative highlights for us today," Stuttgart sports director Fredi Bobic said. "The first goal was the turning point. We had them under control for 30 minutes before that." Bayern Munich maintained its 13-point lead over Bayer Leverkusen with a 2-0 win at Nuremberg in the Bavarian derby on Saturday. 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