Game 2012 Playoffs.5: Tigers at A’s

Well, relaxing didn’t seem to help.

Sure, Max Scherzer seemed relaxed and efficient, keeping the A’s to 4 base runners and no earned runs through 5 1/3, while striking out 8.

Unfortunately the bats were a bit relaxed as well, as the Tigers only managed to score 3 runs despite 10 hits, and although Fielder had a big fly, his relaxed glove at first led to Oakland’s 6th inning unearned run,

But all that relaxing was nothing compared to the 9th inning tension spawned by Jose Valverde, who gave up runs until the A’s didn’t need any more. If that seems like the same old 2012 Valverde to some, it did come in a new flavor:  he was sporting a new pre-delivery back waggle (his actual delivery appeared to be the same).

Everyone seemed to notice it except Valverde and Avila, who both said, nope, nothing different.

Now both ends of the backend bullpen tandem have blown leads already this series.  And if Tiger fans aren’t tense enough going into tonight’s deciding game, be aware that both Benoit and Valverde are ready to go tonight, and it would be very unlike Jim Leyland to not go back to his 8th inning and 9th inning guys again tonight.

In the heat of the moment last night, I found myself hoping that that was the last time I would see Valverde closing a game in a Tiger uniform.  Since the only way that will happen is if they lose tonight, I take it back.

Speaking of Leyland, in case you missed it, he says he is not going to go away, and intends to continue managing beyond this season. (Whether or not the Tigers make that decision for him has probably been affected by knowing that Francona is now unavailable as a replacement).

At any rate, one thing that has worked out is that it is Justin Verlander’s turn to take the mound.  For all of those of who answer Verlander to the question which pitcher would you want in one must-win game, here you go.  Hopefully he keeps the pitch count low and limits bullpen opportunities; if I were JV they might need to call security to keep me from taking the mound in the 9th.

Stat of the Day: Fielder and Cabrera combined for an 0-for-5 against tonight’s starter Jarrod Parker in Game 1.

Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Miguel Cabrera. Time for Mr. Triple Crown to stop hugging it out with Inge and the A’s, and unleash an MVP-worthy performance.

Today’s Rubbery Lineup:

  1. Austin Jackson CF
  2. Quintin Berry LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Andy Dirks LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta SS
  8. Alex Avila C
  9. Omar Infante 2B

95 thoughts on “Game 2012 Playoffs.5: Tigers at A’s”

  1. i certainly hope tonight is not the last DET game this year, but if it is, it will likely be a deserved outcome. The over/under is 6 1/2, and DET is the fav – per Vegas… I have no idea what to expect tonight.

    Hopefully JV doesn’t approach the game as if he’ll need to pitch a SO, because when he takes that approach, he usually runs up his pitch count early trying to make the perfect pitches…or he throws 1st pitch f-balls to limit his pitch count.

  2. The starting pitching for the Tigers has been amazing this series so far. It would be an absolute shame to waste these starts and not move on.
    25 2/3 IP 17 H 5 ER 9 BB 30 K

    If you would have told me that our starters would have put those numbers up through 4 games there is no way I would have thought the series would be tied 2-2.

  3. Wow, Hardcore Porn and TNT followed by Game 5. Let’s make it another Game 5 success just like last year in the Bronx!

    1. His voice was froggy at the start of last night’s game. Too much Karoke the night before!

      1. How many runs will it take to make this one bullpen-proof?

        Currently, I’m weeping from Verlandertude, one of the more profound senses of gratitude.

              1. I thought about that today. What else can he do, really? Valverde is the closer.

                I sure hope JV can go 9.

  4. Thanks Oakland!

    They’ve alternated between giving us runs and taking runs away with their bi-polar defense.

  5. MLB message to D. Young: There is no league policy, regulation or rule that requires you to swing at the first pitch at every AB. Act like a Pro and knock it off.

    1. That message could go out to a lot of Tigers. It’s been a team trait for how long now? Since 2006 at least. Young’s problem might be that HE remembers hitting HRs, too, a little too well.

  6. I have two unopened half-gallons of Jameson and Maker’s Mark. They both will be open if I see anyone from the bullpen on the mound tonight.

  7. I can’t believe the whining about the strike zone AGAIN after Anderson got everything two nights ago..and JV doesn’t need help

  8. A Peralta stolen bhase…ok, forget the Old Style, time to crack open a can of ’68 fire-brewed Stroh’s.

  9. You know Mumbles is desperate as he should be when he hits and runs with Peralta and Avila..Neither guy can hit and neither guy can run

  10. I love how AJax drilled that oppo. I remember listening to the other team’s broadcast (maybe the Royals or Blue Jays) a few years ago, and Jackson went oppo for a single, and the announcer said “this guy is going to win a batting title.”

  11. Orioles just took the lead. If the Tigers can hang on and the Orioles win, the extra rest will be great for our rotation.

  12. What do we do in the 8th? Unless we score a few more, I’d bring JV back out. You can’t be too sure.

    1. Definitely bring him back out. He has only thrown 97 pitches. I may be wrong about this, but I thought I remembered hearing that he had thrown at least 100 pitches in every start this year. Also, his pitching in the 7th was dirty.

      1. I’d like to see him pitch a complete game shutout, but I can see pulling him in the 9th to keep him rested for the next series.
        I suppose it’s too much to expect from Leyland that he lets Al Albequerque seal it with a kiss.

  13. Aye.

    I don’t think it’s the smart thing to do, but I think Leyland will do it, out of deference to JV and in light of last night.

  14. Here is a tweet from an Angels beat writer:
    The A’s have two guys on. Just looked down to the Tigers bullpen. I think I saw one guy sleeping and two playing Angry Birds.

    1. Thanks Motor City Kitties – nice game last night, nice season. A’s fans are wearin it today.

      But I gotta tell ya – you guys battled on the field in any way you could – just like us – but when the game was over both teams and both fan bases showed a lot of class, and your players took that extra step of class to let us Oakland fans say thanks to the A’s while you celebrated your well-earned ALDS victory..

      I also met your owner last night – another class guy, unlike the boobs we have running the A’s I gave him something to give to Verlander (not the finger) and he shook my hand, said thanks. I hope Verlander gets it – he deserves it – a Jack Morris Detroit Tiger rookie baseball card. No sxxx. Verlander has surpassed Morris in the lore of Tiger arms.

      Hope the Tigers crush the Yankees cause NY fans are smack-talkin wipes.


  15. We are all very very lucky to be able to watch the best pitcher and best hitter in major league baseball play for the team that we cheer for.

  16. WOW! It has been a crazy season, and there is now more to come! You guys (fellow Bloggers) have an adult beverage and let’s start scouting those pesky O’s and those total A-hole NYY … remember, any team that has 3 or more former Seattle Mariners sucks just on general principle….. now I have to call a young man who was in the A’s organization who blew up my phone last nite, and ask him where the A’s will be GOLFING! on Saturday

  17. I am sitting here drinking champaign out of the Tigers mug we gave my Dad after the ’68 season! Life is good. Thanks to all who posted!

  18. Verlander cy young, Cabrera MVP, tigers world
    series champs! Could be the season for the ages! I only hope!

  19. I will state this again….no matter who the Tigers play…it is going to very difficult beating Verlander, Fister, and Scherzer in any series…

    1. A’s pitchers are good. I think we can score more runs off of NYY or Bal which will relieve the stress on our pen. We get at least another week of this gents. Let’s enjoy.

    2. Yeah, if we could count on each of those 3 to deliver a complete game every time out it would be a much less stressful October. Unfortunately, the Tigers bullpen will have to make an appearance from time to time, at which point we’re way too frequently screwed.

    1. Leyland would have been spared the problem of having to fill out a lineup card tonight without the Infante pickup.

  20. Outstanding performance by JV, and DET bats finally found some holes and took advantage of the opportunities. Except for the Valverde implosion yesterday, DET has played excellent ‘playoff baseball’.

    Props to JL for applying advanced scouting and running on Parker (…even Peralta!!…go figure), those decisions manufactured a couple runs. Also props to A’s fans, i know most teams’ fans would have been hitting the exits once the score went to 6-0, but loyal A’s fans remained ‘soup to nuts’…and they had fun doing it.

    1. You are right – I was there, cheering the team on at the end. You should know that what happened between the lines during the game is what it is, but your team was very classy to let the A’s fans left celebrate the incredible year we had after the game.

      I will never forget that respect – hope Det just burries the Yanks!

      1. I am from Detroit, but have watched dozens of games in Oakland. The seats in the front rows in front of the bullpens (between 1B/3B and RF/LF) are the best seats for the price in all of baseball! Let’s meet up again next postseason!

        1. Yep – I was on the 1B side late innings last night – I met your owner too, class guy. Shook my hand and then I gave him something for Verlander – a Jack Morris DET rookie card. No bull. I hope Verlander gets it – he was sick last night.

          Loss hurts, but again – your team and fans were class last night, can’t say it enough. See you next year at the Coliseum!

          Geo-Oakland (California, not Michigan)

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