Recap: A’s @ Tigers Game One ALDS
The Tigers beat the A’s 3-1 to take a 1-0 lead in the best of five division series. Justin Verlander was outstanding as his velocity actually increased the further into the game he went. The A’s came within a few feet of tying this one at three when with a man on Brandon Moss flew out to the base of the wall in right field off of Joaquin Benoit, but that was as close as the A’s would get as they drop the first game.
- The A’s scored first in this one. On the fourth pitch of the game, Coco Crisp led off the game with a home run. In his previous 63 postseason plate appearances Crisp had yet to home run. It would be the only hit for Crisp on a 1-for-4 day. That would be all the A’s would tag off of Verlander who would pitch seven innings allowing three hits, walking four while K’ing eleven.
- Jarrod Parker did what he could to stave off the Tigers but ultimately it wasn’t enough. He induced a double play out of Miguel Cabrera in the first inning that scored Austin Jackson who led off the inning with a double to tie the game at one. Though it goes as an unearned run, a bobble by Parker himself helped Omar Infante score from second on an infield single by Quintin Berry in the third to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t give up. They added an insurance run in the form of a Alex Avila opposite field home run in the fifth. On the night Parker went six and a third innings, being relatively efficient with his pitches (at least compared to Verlander though he was eating through pitches acquiring so many strikeouts) throwing 96 with 58 for strikes, allowing three runs (two of them earned), on seven hits, walking one and striking out five.
- Parker was relieved by Pat Neshek. Neshek who tragically lost his newborn son came in with Andy Dirks and Avila already on base. After nearly drawing a double play out of Infante (who barely beat the throw from Stephen Drew to first) he got Jackson swinging and pointed to the sky and patted the patch the A’s are wearing in honor of his son after leaving the mound. It was a very cool moment. In a tweet, Brett Anderson put it best, “Regardless of the outcome…one of the most inspiring things I’ve seen on a baseball field was @PatNeshek pitching in a game today.”
- Jerry Blevins came on in relief to put down the sort of near his hometown Tigers in the eighth with a perfect inning that took him just 10 pitches to eliminate Avisail Garcia, Cabrera and Prince Fielder.
- The A’s offense (4-for-31) was pretty silent. Aside from Crisp’s dingers the A’s got hits from Drew and Cliff Pennington off of Verlander and then a long single by Yoenis Cespedes off of Benoit before Moss’ loud fly out.
- The A’s who of course set an American League record for strikeouts this year didn’t disappoint in that regard K’ing 14 times against Tigers pitching (eleven against Verlander, once against Benoit and twice against Jose Valverde) with Josh Donaldson, Moss and Josh Reddick all going down on strikes three times apiece, not so stellar from the 4-5-6 guys.