Well, this all seems very familiar.
The Oakland Athletics secured the No. 2 seed in the American League playoffs with a Friday night win in Seattle against Felix Hernandez and the Mariners, but with a loss to today against Brandon Maurer and his 6.30 ERA, the A's were eliminated from potentially finishing with the best record in the AL.
So now, Oakland will host the Detroit Tigers in the AL Division Series next week, just like last season -- but in a marked difference, Games One and Two will be at the higher-seeded team's park this year: in this case, the O.co Coliseum.
Last year for some inexplicable reason, MLB made the better team start on the road, and the A's found themselves in an 0-2 hole after two games in Detroit. They recovered to win Games Three and Four at the Coliseum, but they could not overcome the Tigers in Game Five there.
This year, MLB has it right, and the A's will be happy to start at home.
Game One is scheduled for Friday, October 4, with Game Two to follow on Saturday, October 5.
It's too bad Oakland couldn't secure the top seed in the AL, of course, because once again, they will have to face the team with the best starting rotation in the league. And even though, the A's get them in a traditional 2-2-1 format this year with home-field advantage, that really doesn't mean that much.
But Oakland will want to put Detroit in a quick 0-2 pit, for sure, and the A's are a formidable team at the O.co Coliseum.
When they're hitting, of course.
The strange inconsistency of the offense continued the last two days in Seattle: the A's hadn't scored off Felix Hernandez all season, but Brandon Moss hit a three-run home run in the first off King Felix -- and Oakland never looked back on their way to an 8-2 win.
Today? Different story, as the A's lineup could only manage two runs off Maurer, and Oakland couldn't get itself out of the whole Jarrod Parker had dug them (4.1 IP, seven earned runs) in the 7-5 loss.
Sunday's regular-season finale is meaningless now, really, and Oakland is preparing for four days off this week before starting its quest for a fifth World Series title -- and the first since 1989.