The A’s Will Continue to Play Baseball in 2012. Things Are Pretty Swell
The Oakland Athletics magical season was three outs away from ending, staring down a 3-1 against the Tigers with Jose Valverde being called to the mound in the bottom of the ninth. No one would have blame the A’s if they were to exit four games into the ALDS. After all, this is an Athletics team throwing rookie pitchers to the mound the way one hurls spaghetti against a wall to see if its cooked in that a) no one actually does that and b) it’s a weird way to make sure spaghetti is cooked.
Aafter Valverde had been warming up for a good long while since Joaquin Benoit had struggled in the eighth, the A’s broke through and guaranteed the viewing audience one more day with four games of baseball. Enjoy it because after tomorrow, two games in a single day is all we will get until Spring Training. It’s a sad, sad thing.
Valverde’s struggles wasted the great outings the Tigers had on the mound earlier in the game with Max Scherzer pitching 5.1 while surrendering 3 hits and striking out eight and the bullpen allowing one lone hit over the next 2.2 innings. Valverde promptly came in and gave up a single, double, and double to tie the game before getting George Kottaras to pop out and Cliff Pennington to strike out. There aren’t many times in my life when I’ll holler “you should have bunted!” and meant it, but with George Kottaras at the plate and no one out, this was one of those times.
In the end though, it didn’t matter as Coco Crisp, one game removed from his game-saving defensive play, singled just past a diving Omar Infante to drive in the game-winning run. An odd note in this one, not only did the Tigers outhit the A’s 10-8, the Detroit Nine struck out only two times compared to Oakland’s 12. Moneyball! Or something.
Tomorrow will be the A’s greatest test though as Jarrod Parker will have to go up against Justin Verlander with the season on the line. With two series having reached their peaks and two others representing possible elimination games, I think tomorrow may be a good time to give in to that “head cold.”