The Tigers swept the home series with the A’s and now have 3 tries to finish the job in Oakland.
John Lowe gives 3 reasons why we shouldn’t assume a Tiger series win:
- The Tigers haven’t really hit the A’s well yet
- Joaquin Benoit
- Home field advantage–the A’s just swept 3 must-win games there against Texas
I’m sure our faithful readers can add more reasons of their own.
Here are 3 reasons I think the Tigers will win it:
- Strikeouts: The A’s led the AL in striking out; the Tiger pitchers led in strikeouts, a match made in heaven, or at least a match made to reduce the clown show opportunities. The playoff rotation is without the one Tiger non-strikeout pitcher (Porcello).
- Al Alburquerque: The Q-Factor has continued his clutch pitching, and Jim Leyland had said during the season the team could use a big of swagger, and Alburkissy certainly swaggered it up.
- The Twos. Berry and Infante are a combined 4-8 in the 2 spot. Infante seems to have recovered from his fielding funk and his bat has heated up at the right time; the speed of Berry has put pressure on the Oakland defense.
At any rate, apparently the most important even of Sunday’s game was that Al Alburquerque kissed the baseball before throwing it to first, at least judging by media coverage. Al for his part has apologized; Leyland doesn’t seem to be a fan of the move either. It seemed to crack up most of the Tiger players, many of whom referred to Alburquerque’s crazy personality, which is something I think we need to hear more about.
Tonight Anibal Sanchez takes the mound for the sweep. Dave Dombrowski has come out as being in favor of keeping Sanchez, which will make for some interesting decisions over the offseason, financial and otherwise, which are outlined by Jason Beck.
Stat of the Day: Regardless of what the RH/LH match ups say, Detroit should probably just go with whoever the DH is in the late innings. The Tigers pinch-hit for their DH 8 times in 2012, with an OPS of .000.
Today’s Player of the Pre-game: Anibal Sanchez. The Oakland A’s have struck out (literally) against Detroit pitching so far in this series, 23 times already in the first 2 games. Anibal needs to get in touch with his inner K to make this a short series.
Today’s Righteous Righty Lineup:
- Austin Jackson CF
- Omar Infante 2B
- Miguel Cabrera 3B
- Prince Fielder 1B
- Delmon Young DH
- Jhonny Peralta SS
- Andy Dirks LF
- Avisail Garcia RF
- Gerald Laird C