Brandon Moss was a big part of the Athletics’ offense both in the regular season, and in the American League Wild Card game against the Royals. In the one-game playoff, Moss homered twice and knocked in five runs, but it just wasn’t enough as the A’s were eventually the victims of a 12-inning, 9-8 walk-off loss.
During the regular season, Moss hit .234/.334/.438, slugging 25 home runs and knocking in 81 runs. It’s the third consecutive season in which Moss has hit 20-plus home runs, which comes after years of limited opportunities in the minor leagues with the Red Sox, Pirates, and Phillies.
Moss talked with Eno Sarris of FanGraphs in what is a must-read interview. Fittingly, as he is on the Athletics, Moss is a huge advocate of Sabermetrics, calling batting average “the stupidest stat”. He also recalled how Phillies GM Ruben Amaro passed over him in favor of John Bowker in 2011 because it was believed that Moss couldn’t hit a fastball. Also noteworthy: Adam Dunn did not know who Amaro was.
Dunn: Tell me. Who’s this?
Moss: Ruben Amaro.
Dunn: Who’s that?
Moss: The GM for the Phillies. I was with the Phillies.
Dunn: The GM. They have no say.
Moss: Well, yes it does matter, if you want to be called up. I was having a good year and they went out and traded for a guy because they needed left-handed bench bat and someone asked, you know Moss is having a pretty good year in Triple-A for you guys, why do you need to go outside. He was like ‘We just don’t believe Brandon Moss is consistently able to hit a major league fastball.’ And I was like, that’s really all I kinda hit. It’s my best pitch. Everything else, I just hope I hit it. If you’re here, you’re like that. You better be able to hit that pitch. It was a funny comment and I laughed about it. Okay, if that’s how they feel, I can’t do anything about that.
It was a bummer that Adam Dunn didn’t get to play in last night’s game, as he’s gone his entire career without playing in the playoffs. But it’s not like he’s hung up on that apparently, because he still plans to retire, saying last night that “That’s probably it” and that he is almost certain to retire.
He had no problem with not playing in the game, saying that it was the manager’s call. Melvin himself said that the only time he considered using Dunn was in the top of the 12th, with a man on second and first base open. He probably would’ve been walked in that instance. As it was Alberto Callaspo game in and delivered an RBI single.
So long, Adam Dunn. It’s been an interesting 14 years. You socked 462 homers and walked and struck out like crazy. You were one of God’s own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s Wild Card Game between the A’s and Royals, in Kansas City:
CF Coco Crisp
LF Sam Fuld
3B Josh Donaldson
DH Brandon Moss
RF Josh Reddick
SS Jed Lowrie
1B Stephen Vogt
C Geovany Soto
2B Eric Sogard
SP Jon Lester
Adam Dunn, who served as the A’s primary designated hitter down the stretch, is out of the lineup against a right-handed pitcher. Dunn posted a .783 OPS versus righties this season, with 20 homers in 370 at-bats. His absence opens up the DH spot for Brandon Moss, except he’s struggled throughout the second half while playing through a major hip injury.
Another surprise is Derek Norris being on the bench and Geovany Soto catching Jon Lester, which he’s never done before. Kansas City runs a lot and Norris has struggled throwing people out, but it’s still unexpected. A’s manager Bob Melvin is going defense-heavy in this game, with Soto and Sam Fuld.
SS Alcides Escobar
RF Norichika Aoki
CF Lorenzo Cain
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Billy Butler
LF Alex Gordon
C Salvador Perez
2B Omar Infante
3B Mike Moustakas
SP James Shields
Standard lineup for the Royals, who used the same nine players and the same batting order in each of the final eight games. Josh Willingham, acquired from the Twins in August to hit left-handed pitching, is on the bench versus a lefty. Eric Hosmer has a sub-.700 OPS off lefties and is batting cleanup.