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A’s and Tigers meet in do-or-die Game 5

Oct 10, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT

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ALDS GAME 5: DETROIT TIGERS at OAKLAND ATHLETICS

Series: Tied 2-2
Where:
O.co Coliseum, Oakland
Gametime: 8 p.m.
TV: TBS
Radio: ESPN Radio
Weather: Sunny, 65 degrees, Wind 5 mph out to LF
Starting pitchers: DET RHP Justin Verlander (13-12, 3.46) vs. OAK RHP Sonny Gray (5-3, 2.67)

It would be tough to imagine a more-compelling batch of Division Series than what has taken place over the last week, so it’s only fitting that we get one more compelling finish to an incredibly compelling series. The Tigers and Athletics have gone back and forth so far in the first four games of their ALDS, with all four games decided by three or fewer runs (two of them decided by only one run).

For the decisive Game 5, we get a rematch of the best game of this series: Game 2, in which Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray traded blows all night, a scoreless game finally won by the A’s in the bottom of the ninth. We know what Verlander brings to the table, especially against this opponent. This is the fourth time he’s faced Oakland in the ALDS in the last 366 days, and in total he has allowed one run on 11 hits over 23 innings, striking out 33 while walking only six. Wow.

That track record may explain why A’s manager Bob Melvin decided to bypass veteran and Game 1 starter Bartolo Colon in favor of Gray. The 23-year-old rookie was brilliant in Game 2 and he has proven mature beyond his years so far. It’s basically the exact same situation the Pirates faced with Gerrit Cole, and though Cole took the loss last night in St. Louis,he certainly pitched well enough to win.

So buckle up and prepare for one more low-scoring, high-drama, do-or-die ballgame to wrap up this fantastic round of Division Series. The Dodgers, Cardinals and Red Sox await the winner to complete baseball’s version of the Final Four. Either of these contestants tonight would be a worthy participant.

  1. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    my prediction: Verlander shuts out A’s again tonight.

  2. natsfan1a - Oct 10, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Will watch some of the game, at least until I fall asleep. If the A’s are gone, don’t know how much of the two championship series I’ll watch. The remaining teams? For me, meh.

  3. Sec 3, My Sofa - Oct 10, 2013 at 9:11 PM

    Annnnnnnnnnd…. there goes the no-hitter. There goes the baseball. There goes Miggy.

  4. Faraz Shaikh - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    haha what did I say? JV is not done yet.

  5. natsfan1a - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    The $200 Million Dollar Men vs. the Redbirds. Yuck.

  6. natsfan1a - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:27 AM

    But the Red Sox are only, what, $150-160 mil? And the Tigers are, eh, the Tigers. Yawn.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      Cards – $116 MM
      Dodgers – $216 MM
      Red Sox – $154 MM
      Tigers – $148 MM

  7. natsfan1a - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    Thanks for filling in the blanks, Faraz.

    • Faraz Shaikh - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      not a problem. I was already looking at these in the morning, mourning loss of all small market teams.

  8. natsfan1a - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Love it when small market teams advance.

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