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October 2, 2019

Bob Melvin

Oakland, California

Tampa Bay - 5, Oakland - 1

Q. It seemed like the last week and a half or so the offense, it kind of struggled and it sort of carried over tonight. Just overall what do you think you saw out of the bats?
BOB MELVIN: You know, what I think, it's a clean slate. I don't think there's much carryover once you get to the postseason like that. They pitched really well. We got eight singles, couldn't do much with it with runners in scoring position. They did more damage on their hits than we did ours.

I don't think we came into the game thinking about what we did offensively the last week of the season, we just couldn't string anything together.

Q. Do you feel like Manaea got some fastballs up high, is that what you think was going on there?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah, he gives up four hits, three of them are homers, doesn't walk anybody, strikes out five. Got some balls up the middle they could do some damage with. It looked to me like the same pitch three times. Four hits off him, three are homers.

You've got to give them some credit. It's kind of our game, they kind of beat us with our game. We're normally a home-run-hitting team, and we couldn't do much, and they hit the ball out of our ballpark, which can be tough to do.

Q. Your young players might not even know the history. You're from here. How do you process nine straight losses for the A's in elimination games?
BOB MELVIN: We've lost the last two with this group here. So it's a different group every year. I don't think they're too wound up about that. So get into this Wild Card Game, and a lot of times it comes down to pitching and timely hitting. They got us on the run early in the game, and we really couldn't answer.

Q. Up to that point, you had gone two years in a row and been eliminated in this game. You won 97 this year. How frustrating is that to go in and out so quickly?
BOB MELVIN: It's frustrating. It's very sudden. Baseball, usually you have a series to kind of have a tomorrow and come back and win a game. And we've been really good this year about having a tough game and coming back and responding.

There's no responding in a game like this. So it could be a difficult game. It's a little out of the norm for baseball. It is what it is. Both teams battled to get to this point and knew it would be one and out. They just played better than we did.

Q. Building block for the future?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah, we've won a lot of games in the last couple of years. What we need to do is win the division if we want to play a longer series. We're in a tough division as it is.

But proud of what they did this year. We just got beat one game. And everybody is pretty upset about it.

Q. Can you step back a little and think about all the really young players who had big roles and maybe look at what Luzardo did in three innings this game, and look forward to what's coming ahead?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah, without a doubt. And even more guys within our system. As you see, Puk comes here and Murphy comes here and Luzardo comes here, and we have the Chapmans and the Olsons and guys like that, Laureano back and Canha and Semien and so forth.

So we're going to get better. As good as this year was, we're going to get better next year with some of the young pitching arms that you see.

Q. Looking back at the first inning, how big do you think that ended up being? You were able to load the bases, and maybe you got a hit there that changed the momentum of the game, you think?
BOB MELVIN: I didn't. I felt like it was a successful first inning. We made them throw upwards of 30-some pitches. We made him work. He was walking some guys. Sometimes that sets the tone, and for later on in the game.

But he responded after that. And we couldn't put together an inning like that where we had multiple guys on base. And his back was at the wall. He made a big pitch when he had to to get out of the first, and never got into a position like that afterward.

Q. You know the Astros so well, and obviously you were fighting for the right to play them. Now that the Rays will, what problems do maybe they present for a team as good as Houston?
BOB MELVIN: Look, the Rays match up as well as anybody in baseball. And they use their entire 25-man roster. They have terrific starting pitching. They have a great bullpen, match up well. They're going to give any team a problem.

Q. No earned runs against you guys. Do you think with the rotation that's projected for next year, there seems to be five guys, including the two left-handers coming up, penciled in already for next year. Do you think one of those guys could be somebody who actually does help you get through these early stages of the postseason and finally put the A's over the top?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah, I feel like Manaea is a guy like that, Luzardo is starting next year, Puk will probably be starting next year, too. We have the makings of an even better team next year. And you couldn't help but think of that as the season was winding down and some of these younger guys came up and played so well. But this one's a little tough to digest. We'll move on to next year after we deal with this.

Q. Khris could be the one, but he was overlooked two straight years for this role to start.
BOB MELVIN: We had two good options to pitch tonight, Manaea and Fiers.

Q. You talk about wanting to reward the fans. This is one of the best crowds that you've really ever had in your tenure. What would be the message to the fans?
BOB MELVIN: It's disappointing. We always want to play good with a big crowd here. And that was beyond a big crowd. They came out in full force. They were engaged from the first pitch of the game. They were engaged from the Anthem on, it felt like.

We just couldn't give them enough to really get into it. But every inning they were up. Every inning they were waving their towels and so forth. And it's disappointing that we couldn't put on a better show for them.

Q. On that note, it kind of is an inclination of the type of support you really could have on a day-to-day basis in this community in a new ballpark as things move forward with the young team that you're putting together?
BOB MELVIN: Absolutely. We see it in the postseason. We see it in big series. They come out for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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