As was the theme for plenty of the Tigers’ losses during the regular season, the bats didn’t swing well enough in the first of potentially three road games, leaving Anibal Sanchez and the rest of pitchers (including reliever, one-pitch wonder Rick Porcello) out to dry in Game 3 of the ALDS, 2-0.
After the Tigers went quickly in the top half of the first, Sanchez had to work through some nerves and the first three A’s reaching in the home half. Little did we know, Yoenis Cespedes’ none-out RBI single (and a little Coco Crisp thievery in the next inning) would be enough for Oakland to extend the series.
Oh, here’s that cuckoo Coco Crisp catch on a Prince Fielder deep fly that everyone will be talking about [via Getting Blanked]:
The Tigers only had four hits in the game, but hit the ball hard at least four other times that were either right at an Athletic or utterly robbed (Cespedes made a diving catch on Fielder in the seventh inning). Who knows how things turn out if the Tigers happened to hit a few of ‘em where they weren’t, but–keeping with the French theme–c’est la vie.
Aside from the run in the first and a one-out solo blast by Seth Smith in the fifth, Sanchez was familiarly fantastic for the Tigers, retiring nine in a row at one point. Unfortunately, Brett Anderson was better for the A’s in his first appearance since exiting his September 19 start against the Tigers due to an oblique injury. Anderson’s slurve was nasty, helping him get six strikeouts in six innings and had he not been limited to an 80-pitch pitch count he may not have needed his bullpen to finish the shutout.
The Tigers have their own somewhat ailing pitcher, Max Scherzer, going in Game 4. Rookie A.J. Griffin counters for the A’s.
First pitch at 9:30 p.m. ET.
- I don’t know whether to be nervous or incredibly confident. The Tigers have Scherzer in Game 4 and Verlander in Game 5 if necessary. If they lose both of the next two games, well, they clearly aren’t worth their weight in Ilitch’s money. They SHOULD win once. But I think part of the reason I was so gung-ho for a sweep was to mask my nervousness beyond Game 3. As someone else put it, the A’s are dripping with destiny, specifically at home–they’ve won 7 straight at the Coliseum and weird things happen there. Scherzer isn’t all right no matter what he says and Verlander doesn’t get his Taco Bell on the road (he’s much better at home this year). The Tigers have lost three straight on the road six different times this season and, very sadly, I can see it happening again here. I’m officially nervous for this series without really losing any sleep. I don’t know what that means, but my HARD-EARNED money has been on the Tigers in 4: