SEATTLE -- The A's lineup was posted early Friday afternoon, and once again Kurt Suzuki's name wasn't on it.
At some level it made sense. The Seattle Mariners were throwing ace Felix Hernandez, one of the best right-handers in the game, and Suzuki hits right-handed.
Looking more closely, however, while Hernandez has dominated the A's, he hasn't been so successful against Suzuki, who has a career .314 batting average against King Felix. And it's not a particularly small sample -- Suzuki has batted 35 times against Hernandez.
What the move does suggest is that Suzuki isn't going to have a spot on the A's roster in the postseason. He was a much-welcome addition when the A's picked him up five weeks ago with the Oakland catching corps resembling a MASH unit. But with right-handed hitting Derek Norris and left-handed hitting Stephen Vogt healthy, Suzuki has made just one start since Sept. 13. If he was going to factor in the A's post-season plans, he'd be playing more.
"Is it disappointing? Everybody wants to play every day," Suzuki said. "But it is what it is. The bottom line is we are winning. And I want to contribute to that however I can."
Manager Bob Melvin said that Nate Freiman, who had been suffering from abdominal pain, was just about good to go for the final weekend of the season in Seattle. That being the case, he'll likely get one of the three undecided spots on the postseason roster, giving Oakland a right-handed hitting option at first base.
And that likely means Suzuki won't be on the roster.
For Cespedes, it was his first time back on the field since Sept. 13 thanks to a right shoulder problem. For Barton, it's a reaffirmation of how much the A's like his defense and reinvigorated bat.
That lineup, configured like this for the first time in the 160th game of the regular season, is likely to be the one the A's put out for the first game of the playoffs next Friday.
When asked if this was his best lineup, Melvin wouldn't commit.
"Not necessarily," the manager said. "This is just our lineup for today."
Well, yeah. But it was a game the A's desperately needed to win to keep hope alive for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and they were matching up against a pitcher, Hernandez, who hasn't allowed Oakland a run in two starts against them this season.
This was a time to put forward the best lineup, so it's a good guess this was it.
There's still a chance that Jaso, who has missed all of August and September with concussion problems, could make the postseason roster, but only as a DH/pinch-hitter and not as a catcher. That's considered something of a longshot, however.
He said he might be ready to announce the starting pitchers for the American League Division Series Tuesday. Bartolo Colon is expected to get the call.
The manager and his staff will meet with the front office Monday to discuss options while the players get the day off.