Not too long ago the Oakland Athletics were on a two game winning streak and just a victory away from an early 3-1 American League Divisional Series victory over the Detroit Tigers. Oh how quickly things can change. After the Tigers rallied behind a bullpen appearance from ace Matt Scherzer to even the series with an 8-6 victory, Detroit is now looking to leave Oakland with a win in the critical game five.
Through five and a half innings, it appears as if Detroit will accomplish its goal and advance past Oakland in the ALDS, completing its series comeback. The score is 3-0 Detroit as of this writing.
After using Scherzer out of the bullpen in game four, the Tigers handed the ball to Justin Verlander in the elimination game. He has been strong so far, pitching a no hitter with the sixth inning nearly complete. A clutch performance from a star pitcher, this is what October is supposed to be about.
Before the game, Verlander spoke about the importance of tonight’s battle with the A’s. ”Well, you don’t pretend. It’s not just another game,” Verlander explained. ”The season is on the line. It was on the line for us tonight, too. This whole season, the way we battled and played as a team, comes down to one game, may the best team win. You can’t treat it just like another game. It’s a little bit different. There is more to it.”
Sonny Gray received the start for the A’s, but left after five innings. Not his strongest outing, he allowed three runs on six hits, including a devastating two run blast off of the bat of Miguel Cabrera in the fourth.
Should the result hold true, the Tigers would earn the right to take on the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series with a berth to the World Series on the line. This is a top tier squad that would match up well with the Sox should the tonight’s score hold up.
There still are three innings to go, so if you are a fan of the A’s, remember there is still plenty of time to come back. Survive and advance, there are three innings to go.
Anything can happen in October.
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express