The River Cats had it. After finishing a four game series by taking three from the Nashville Sounds, the Cats headed home for a five-game set that would decide the postseason. Needing only two games against the second-place Reno Aces, the Cats looked primed for another playoff run.
Sacramento would drop the first game after pitcher Deck McGuire was rocked for nine runs in seven innings. Game two wasn’t much different, only this time Angel Castro would give up five runs in five innings pitched. After dropping the first two games, the Cats would need to win two of the next three to rally into the postseason.
Hitting Performance of the Week: Daric Barton went 2 for 4 with two HRs and three RBI in a loss against Reno.
As fast as the momentum had shifted the Cats way, it took a direct 180 in favor of Reno after Matt Buschmann of Sac would give up seven runs on the way to his seventh loss of the season.
Which brought us here today to the deciding game of the season. The Cats saw a few of their players leave town as they were brought up to the A’s for September call-ups, that included Billy Burns, Bryan Anderson, and Fernando Rodriguez, as well as Jed Lowrie who was rehabbing. After nine innings wasn’t enough to decide a victor, we headed to extras. Reno struck in the 10th, however, and took a 2-1 lead. With runner son first and second, the Cats sent Daric Barton, who had been ripping pitches in the series, to the plate, and Barton got contact on a pitch, but it resulted in a heartbreaking, game-ending, series-ending and season-ending double-play.
Pitching Performance of the Week: Matt Buschmann pitched a complete game three-hitter with 10 Ks against the Nashville Sounds.
And with the loss, the River Cats were sent packing, for what may very well be their last season as an Oakland Athletics affiliate. With rumors being tossed around almost on the regular now, many feel it’s a certainty that the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics could swap AAA teams.
Since 2000, when the River Cats moved to Sacramento, the A’s have called the team home to their youth. And since that time the club has 11 division titles, six conference titles, four league titles and back-to-back class titles in 2007-08. It’s been one of the most successful AAA affiliates since that time and it has boasted some of the best Oakland Athletics of the last decade. The end of this season will more than likely be the end of a legacy.
Additionally, be ready for more call-ups now that the River Cats season is over.