It was 50 weeks ago that Stephen Piscotty attempted to play his way onto the Oakland A’s postseason roster.
Having missed five weeks’ worth of games with a sprained right ankle as the 2019 season wound down, Piscotty got a start on the season’s final day, Sept. 29, went 0-for-4 and didn’t make it to the postseason. There were no do-overs, because the A’s were out of the postseason after one game.
So, it’s no surprise that Piscotty has exhilarated at that thought that the A’s are on the verge of clinching a post on the post season that calls for a best-of-three first round rather than another one-and-done. And at the thought that this year’s injury, the right knee, isn’t as serious as once feared and that he’s available off the bench for Friday’s series opener against the Giants and, presumably, to return to right field for Oakland sometimes this weekend.
“Yeah, it's very special, with me being a local kid; I’m really looking forward to it,” Piscotty said in video conference call Friday. “I remember in 2018 when we made that wild card, how special that was, and I’m getting those feelings again.
“I’m really looking forward to it and I want to help us go all the way. This team is ready. We’re fired up.”
The right fielder, who said, “this plan is to be available off the bench” Friday and then possibly start in Saturday’s day game at the Coliseum, sees the numbers – the A’s head into Friday with a magic number of four to lock down the American League West title. If the A’s play well and get some luck, they could sew up the West this weekend.
Oh, and he'd have to get the go-ahead from manager Bob Melvin, who made was happy to hear Piscotty's optimism but who seemed inclined to take it a bit more slowly. For Melvin, this weekend to get Piscotty back on the field might be a stretch.
Doing it against the Giants would be big for the fanbase, but the Pleasanton-raised Piscotty downplays the bay vs. bay thing in this instance.
“I’m not sure if it’s something that we necessarily need or want to do against the Giants,” he said. “But assuming you are getting close to the end of the season and you have a lead, all the games have a little bit more intensity. I expect to feel that same intensity going into this series.
“And it is a rivalry game, so there’s also that. It should be a good series.”
Piscotty and this father, Mike, are using the three days as fundraiser for their ALS Cure Project, started in 2018 after the death of Stephen’s mother and Mike wife, Gretchen, from ALS. (Details of the virtual beer/wine/whiskey tasting and sports memorabilia auctions here).
“The (reaction to the event) has been incredible,” Piscotty said. “We’ve been looking forward to these three days, doing something a little bit different because you have to in COVID times. But we’re really excited that the momentum has been there.”
Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3
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