For the second year in a row, the Detroit Tigers bested the Oakland A’s in the ALDS with both series going five games.
The Tigers defeated the A’s 3-0. Justin Verlander pitched eight innings of shutout ball allowing only two hits and a walk. Miguel Cabrera, who has been hobbled with a groin injury, managed to hit a two-run home run in the fourth that just went over the left field fence at O.com Stadium in Oakland. Detroit would add a third run in the sixth when A’s secondbaseman Alberto Callaspo couldn’t complete a double play.
I am sure A’s manager Bob Melvin will be criticized for starting rookie Sonny Gray instead of veteran Bartolo Colon. Frankly, I don’t think it would have mattered. Verlander had his A game. The A’s did not reach base until a walk to Josh Reddick in the sixth and their first hit in the seventh on a single by Yoenis Cespedes.
I told my roommate Christopher that the A’s would be happy to face anyone other than Verlander and that their only chance was to face a reliever. In the bottom of the ninth, Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit retired Coco Crisp on a groundout and struck out Josh Donaldson, but gave up a double to Jed Lowrie. Benoit then hit Cespedes with a pitch which brought the tying run to the plate. A’s DH Seth Smith just got under the ball and flied out to Torii Hunter to end their season.
This will be a tough off-season for the A’s. They had a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning of Game 4, but could not seal the deal.
The Tigers travel to Boston to face the Red Sox in the ALCS. Game 1 begins on Saturday night. Although I am rooting for the Red Sox, I believe the Tigers will prevail in seven games. I still think trading Jose Iglesias will end up biting the Sox. Despite the return of Jhonny Peralta, I think Iglesias will be the ALCS MVP.