October 12, 2012
ALDS Recap: Tigers Defeat the Athletics
They may have bought themselves a few extra minutes, but the clock finally struck midnight for the Cinderella Oakland A’s yesterday at O.co Coliseum. After keeping every game close throughout the series (no game was won by a margin of more than two runs) and battling back from 0-2 to even the series last night, Oakland was trounced by the PECOTA-favorited Detroit Tigers 6-0—a lead so large even Jose Valverde couldn’t have blown it.
The biggest story of the night was clearly Justin Verlander, who once again dominated the A’s in tossing a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts and just one walk. He’ll be credited in many series recaps as the primary reason the Tigers prevailed, but we should take note that, good as he was, his rotation peers were terrific as well. Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchez, and Max Scherzer combined for 18 2/3 innings of 1.93-ERA ball in Games Two through Four, and Scherzer and Fister both left their games with the lead. Detroit is not Justin Verlander and three other guys; they have a very good and very deep post-season rotation.
Most games in this series were either won or lost by the bullpens. Highlighted as one of Oakland’s greatest strengths in my series preview, the A’s bullpen was a major reason why the club’s season is now over. Heretofore shutdown relievers Ryan Cook and Sean Doolittle, reli