Brett Anderson and the A's beastly bullpen trio hold the Tigers scoreless to force a Game Four.
The story of Game Two of the American League Division Series between the A’s and Tigers was the inability of Oakland’s bullpen to hold down a lead in the late innings. Game Three saw Oakland hurler Brett Anderson toss a dominant game similar to the one turned in by Game Two starter Tommy Milone, only this time, Oakland’s usually-lockdown bullpen trio of Grant Balfour, Ryan Cook, and Sean Doolittle was flawless.
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Max Scherzer attempts to close out the A's in Game Four of the ALDS.
Game Three was, in its most visible respects, diametrically opposed to the way Game Two went: Ryan Cook, Sean Doolittle, and Grant Balfour held a close game late rather than blowing it, and Coco Crisp made a miraculous catch, committing grand larceny on a Prince Fielder homer rather than dropping a pop-up. The result was a 2-0 win, another day of life for the A's, and a second home playoff game for the fans.
Do Dan and PECOTA think the Tigers can complete the sweep?
A seesaw Game Two ended in disappointment for Oakland, as the team’s three best relievers failed to hold two separate late leads, letting the Tigers walk off with a 5-4 victory in the bottom of the ninth. Will the A’s, who finished the regular season on a six-game winning streak, bow out with three consecutive postseason losses to Detroit? Here are the PECOTA odds and projected starting lineups for Game Three:
Tommy Milone toes the rubber to help Oakland turn it around versus Detroit and Doug Fister.
Things got off to an inauspicious start for Justin Verlander and the Tigers, as Coco Crisp smacked the fourth pitch of Game One out to right field to give the Athletics a 1-0 lead. From that point on, however, the flame-throwing righty shut down Bob Melvin’s lineup, scattering two more hits and four walks while striking out 11 over seven innings of work. Verlander outdueled rookie Jarrod Parker, who pitched well but could not match Detroit’s ace in a 3-1 decision.
The Athletics' run has been fun, but it won't be easy for it to continue against the Tigers.
It’s difficult to say which is more surprising: that Oakland made the playoffs at all, or that Detroit did so only because Robin Ventura dragged a rotting White Sox carcass across the finish line with just four wins over their final 15 games. Despite being predicted by all but one BP writer to finish the season atop the AL Central, Detroit enters the playoffs with the worst record of the bunch—a full five wins below both AL wild cards. Oakland, on the other hand, was predicted to finish in the basement of the AL West, below even the Mariners. After winning their final six games, however, they secured the number-two seed in the playoffs. We’re sure to see this matchup billed as youth versus experience, with Oakland’s young rotation and breakout hitters pitted against the veteran wiles of Miggy, Fielder, and Verlander.
Ben and Sam join/are joined by Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs for a longest-ever episode about the worst predictions teams and players made about themselves, Bryce Harper's historical significance, and the baseball players who led the league in our hearts in 2012. We talked for almost an hour, so adjust your commutes accordingly.
Ben and Sam join/are joined by Carson Cistulli of FanGraphs and FanGraphs Audio for a longest-ever episode about the worst predictions teams and players made about themselves this season, Bryce Harper's historical significance, and the players who led the league in our hearts in 2012. We talked for almost an hour, so adjust your commutes accordingly.
Episode 56: "A Very Special Simulpodcast with FanGraphs Audio"
We haven't seen much of Michael Ynoa since the A's signed him to a big bonus in 2008, but he's healthy now and still showing plenty of promise.
Baseball Prospectus intern Hudson Belinsky covers prospects as an associate scout with Diamond Scape Scouting and scouts the minor leagues for Penn League Report, attending minor-league or amateur games roughly five days per week. In this series, he’ll focus on a different minor leaguer’s development every week, incorporating information from team officials, scouts, coaches, and players to paint a complete picture of some of baseball’s most intriguing prospects.
The crown jewel of the 2008 international market for amateur talent was pitcher Michael Ynoa. The 16-year-old checked in at 6-foot-7, 210 pounds. His fastball was already sitting in the low 90s, and he possessed an impressive changeup and a big curveball. When the international signing period officially opened on July 2nd, the Oakland A’s inked Ynoa to a minor-league contract that came with a $4.25M bonus.
Should teams that aren't expected to contend really always be sellers?
In a three-week period last December, the A’s traded the only two starting pitchers who had thrown 200 innings for them in the previous year, and the team’s closer. The moves left the A's with a starting rotation of Brandon McCarthy, one empty spot, and three pitchers who had a) combined for 17 starts in their careers and b) had never appeared on a Baseball America top 100.
The state of the team’s rotation, though, didn’t seem to matter. The A’s were not playing for this year, and with three trades in three weeks they made that very clear. Rather than criticize the A’s for failing to put a competitive team on the field, it was safe to applaud Billy Beane for putting Oakland in a position to someday put a competitive team on the field, someday in the future, someday after 2012. They punted. A prudent move.
Baseball Prospectus and the Tampa Bay Rays invite you to join us for a great day of baseball on Saturday, May 5 at Tropicana Field. Thanks to the fine folks in the Rays front office, we are proud to be able to offer our guests the following:
Pegging BP's favorites in both leagues, both in the standings and for the major awards.
Today we reveal the Baseball Prospectus staff predictions for the division standings and the major player awards (MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year) in the American and National Leagues. Each staff member's division standings predictions may be found later in the article. Here, we present a wisdom-of-the-crowds summary of the results. In each table you'll find the average rank of each team in their division with first-place votes in parentheses, plus the results of our pre-season MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year voting.
For the MVP voting, we've slightly amended the traditional points system in place that has been used elsewhere, dropping fourth- and fifth-place votes to make it 10-7-5 for the MVP Award, and the regular 5-3-1 for the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards (that's 5 points for a first-place vote, 3 points for a second-place vote, etc.). Next to each of these selections we've listed the total number of ballots, followed by the total number of points, and then the number of first-place votes in parentheses, if any were received.