2012 ALDS – Oakland Athletics 4 – Detroit Tigers 3
At this point what can I actually say that hasn’t already been said about last night’s game. It was exhilarating and essentially par for the course for this year’s Oakland Athletics team. If anything, last night showed once again why you cannot give up on this team no matter what because they will find a way to scratch and claw their way to a victory.
The game was looking like it was going to be a long night after the start that Detroit starter Max Scherzer was putting in against the A’s. Scherzer was mowing down the A’s like an efficient baseball Grim reaper by stringing together 6 and 9 pitch innings as if possessed by a jugs machine. Oakland also wasn’t helping their situation by going up and being abnormally swing happy but how could they not with Scherzer forcing the issue.
Scherzer finally got into trouble in the bottom of the 6th with Coco Crisp leading off the bottom of the inning with a single on an error by Prince Fielder at first. The energy in the park had been noticeably absent and this was the spark that the crowd needed to rally behind. You could feel the crowd pulsating through the TV with anticipation during Stephen Drew’s at bat and he delivered by sending a shot to the wall in right center. Just as soon as Drew ignited the rally, he and Mike Gallego snuffed it out just as quickly. Gallego was waving around Drew just as he got a couple of feet away from 1st after watching the replay and here is a shot from Drew rounding second.
What could have turned into the 3rd biggest Athletics running gaffe in Oakland A’s history( Jeremy Giambi & Eric Byrnes your place is safe) was virtually wiped away with a Walkoff single by Coco Crisp in the bottom of the 9th. The A’s, like so many times this season where able to start a rally from scratch in the bottom of the 9th and the hopes and dreams of the fans in the balance. Jose Valverde, Detroit closer, came in to shut down the A’s after the Tigers were able to add and insurance run in the top of the 8th to push their lead to 2 runs.
Reddick started off the inning with a single to right field that just squirted under the second baseman’s glove. Then up came Josh Donaldson who delivered a double off the wall on the first pitch that he saw from Valverde. Now with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Seth Smith with his biggest AB of the night saw 3 pitches from Valverde and on the 3rd pitch drilled a double to right center tying the game. Kottaras and Pennington both had their chances to end the game but came up empty and with 2 outs and the wining run on 2nd, up came Coco.
The next 3 minutes went black because I almost passed out from jumping up and down and running back and forth in my living room when Coco delivered a single to right that was misplayed by the right fielder Garcia and allowed Smith to score the winning run. Like I’ve said before, games like these are etched into your baseball soul because they are apart of a larger grander story that is still yet to be written. Which leads us to today and game 5 versus Justin Verlander.
Keys to the Game:
- Reddick needs to continue shortening his stroke and especially against Verlander. When Reddick shortens up he has great AB’s and swings like the one he had last night to start off the 9th. If Reddick can get hot in tonight’s game, it could just mean the difference in the A’s wining.
- Please no more base running errors, my heart can’t take it. Mike Gallego has the most unforgiving job in baseball because he is the last line of defense in terms of a long inning or a short one. So Gallego, I implore you make the best reads on balls in the outfield that you have ever made in tonight’s game. Oh and don’t make the first out of an inning at 3rd.
- Parker needs to be Parker. If Jarrod Parker can go toe to toe with Verlander and keep the Tigers offense in check I have no doubt in my mind that the A’s will get him runs. Parker needs to stay in the moment every pitch and limit his mistakes and let his defense work for him. If he does that, I fully expect an A’s victory.
- Don’t worry about the strike zone and hit your pitch. With Verlander on the mound, you know that he will get a more generous strike zone than most. Know that and do work fellas. Verlander is just a man who throws 100 mph, bangs Kate Upton, and a Cy Young Winner. Other than that he is just a pitcher who can be had early, so get to him early.
That’s it, it all comes down to this night and this game. So like I’ve said before and I’ll say one more time for the homies,
LET’S GO OAKLAND!!!!
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