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And That Happened: Thursday’s playoff highlights

Oct 12, 2012, 5:45 AM EDT

Division Series - San Francisco Giants v Cincinnati Reds - Game Five Getty Images

What a ripoff. Instead of the 12 hours of baseball craziness we got on Wednesday, Thursday’s games only gave us eleven and a half hours. I want my money back.

Giants 6, Reds 4: Buster Posey with the big bomb. Dusty Baker with a bomb of his own. San Francisco moves on to face the winner of …

Nationals 2, Cardinals 1: Jayson Werth with a bomb of his own, walkoff-style. Decisive Game 5 tonight.

Orioles 2, Yankees 1: Thirteen innings of offensive feebleness — led by Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez –but J.J. Hardy‘s RBI double and the good Jim Johnson showing up forces yet another Game 5. Question: I know you pretty much have to play Granderson in center, but does A-Rod even start?

Tigers 6, Athletics 0: It was a nice run for Oakland, but there is no stopping the Verlander (CG SHO, 11K). In his two series starts, Verlander has 16 IP, 1 ER, 22K and 7 hits. Damn.

  1. stultusmagnus - Oct 12, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    If only the problem were just Granderson and A-Rod…

  2. thebrettman - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    No one calling out Swisher..

  3. personalspaceinvader - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    In my opinion, the worst thing that can happen would be a Giants/Cardinals NLCS and a Yankees/Tigers ALCS because there wouldn’t be any real underdogs to root for in that scenario.

    The BEST outcome we can hope for now is an Orioles/Tigers ALCS and a Nationals/Cardinals NLCS, culminating in a Nationals/Orioles World Series. Can you imagine?

    • personalspaceinvader - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:19 AM

      I meant Nationals/Giants NLCS obviously. It would be tough for the Nats and Cards to meet again in the next round, I imagine.

      • blacksables - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM

        How could the Cardinals not be considered underdogs?

        Worst record in the playoffs?

        Last team to get in?

        Rookie manager?

        Screams underdog to me.

      • ajcardsfan - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:17 AM

        The same reason you couldn’t consider the Yankees underdogs no matter how bad of a season they had and still make the post-season

  4. Fruitland Generic Citizen - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    “Thirteen innings of offensive feebleness — led by Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez ”

    As an O’s fan, I think you’re being far too kind to Adam Jones, Jim Thome, Chris Davis and Matt Wieters. Far too kind in the omission.

    • Old Gator - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:50 AM

      I’m a long-time fan of Big Jim Thome, but whatever his (all together now) veteran presence might be worth to the clubhouse and dugout, I think his days of usefulness as a player are coming to an end. His swing is slow and he looked like a dumptruck with three flat tires and a load of marl in his hopper on the bases yesterday – it was painful to watch him running out that infield grounder late in the game. Four and a half hours of offensive futility is kinda hard to take, though through the miracle of the human imagination the whole game seems charmed with the excitement of its final ten minutes in retrospect.

      On the other hand, the last two nights have been like the Gloryhole/Borg relationship throughout the season – the Bernoulli Twins of the NL East. Borg fans will have to take comfort in the fact dat da Boids have been flutterin’ around dem for two munts now, but dey ain’t been able to get ahead of dem.

      Should be a good game tonight. Time to warm up the popcorn.

  5. kvanhorn87 - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:28 AM

    How do you not root for St. Louis? They get rid of LaRussa (the supposed genius) and don’t re-sign pujols. I wish these two teams were in the NLCS instead of meeting in the first round.

    • wlschneider09 - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:42 AM

      Easy. They won last year. Kudos to them, it’s someone else’s turn.

      • blacksables - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:52 AM

        That’s really not the way it works.

      • deathmonkey41 - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        I didn’t realize baseball was on a turn system. Has anyone told the Cubs this???

      • rarson - Oct 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM

        The question was about rooting for a team. If I’m not part of that team’s fanbase, and I have no vested interest in them, then I’m probably going to root for someone else, because I don’t want to see the same team win over and over again.

      • wlschneider09 - Oct 12, 2012 at 6:47 PM

        Precisely. It’s not about taking turns. I choose to root for teams that didn’t win the year before, preferably big underdogs. Last year I cheered for the cards wholeheartedly. This year I’ve moved on.

        Note: this does not apply to my Twins. If by the grace of god/dog/buddha the Twins again win a WS in my lifetime I’ll break my pattern gladly.

    • kkolchak - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      The Cardinals are almost as big an overdog as the Yankees, even without Puljos. Time for some new blood.

    • philsieg - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      Easy. Second place teams shouldn’t play for championships. This isn’t the NBA.

      • chumthumper - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Tell that to Bud and his buddies. They’re the ones who expanded the wildcard to let lesser teams in and added a one game play-in.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:21 AM

        If the teams are lesser than they shouldn’t win right? So it should be no big deal.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 12, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    It’s a shame the good Jim Johnson is only 50% in this series or it would have been over a couple days ago. Now the Orioles need to beat Capt’n Crunch, which is a tough task.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:15 AM

      I was thinking the same thing. If the mighty Yanks were bungled out in the first round by the Orioles, it would ruffled some feathers.

      • stex52 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:24 AM

        “Ruffle some feathers” Har Har Har

        What a bird-brained response. :-)

      • ajcardsfan - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM

        Nice stex, maybe you should tweet that

  7. brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    I hate the fact that teams jump around and spray champagne like they won the World Series after the first round of the playoffs. Be happy, go out an have some beers but its ridiculous.

    • kkolchak - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      So says the fan of a team that have never sprayed it after winning it all.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:57 AM

        Ah the old Milwaukee has never won so I can’t have an opinion thing. What does that matter? Its ridiculous watching these teams celebrating like they won the World Series when they haven’t yet. And I didn’t like it when the Brewers did it last year after the first round either.

      • stex52 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        I gotta go with Brewcrew on this one. Until you get to the World Series you’re just taking care of business. Too much celebration.

        And what does the performance of the Brewers have to do with his comment?

      • Marty - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:45 AM

        If you’re down two and win the next three then damn those stuffy beer drinking brew fans, cork some damn bubbly.

        And If it helps to know the Tigers used alcohol free champaign.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Marty I’m not saying they shouldn’t be happy or have a celebration with whatever drink they choose. I just don’t like the jumping up and down in the infield of a 6-0 win and then going into the clubhouse and spraying everything down with chamagne celebration. Thats the celebration of winning the world series not the first round. Who needs to win the World Series I guess if you can celebrate just as hard after the first round.

    • heyblueyoustink - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      “brewcrewfan54″ ……”Be happy, go out an have some beers ” …… I think you’re part of the beer lobby, aren’t you? These two things cannot be coincidence, can they? Are you the guy driving around with craft beers on ice in the back of your car? Are you the guy who has the famous Ben Franklin beer quote on your abdomen as a commitment to further the interests of beer?

      I will be keeping my eye on you brewcrewfan, a close one at that.

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        I’m not exactly sure what you mean by this. They don’t have to have beers. They can have whatever drink they may choose to celebrate with whether it be beer, liquor, water, soda or nothing at all. I personally like my Miller Lites when I’m out to take care of business. At home though a good tasty craft beer is enjoyable to. No more beer in the car though unless its in the trunk. It wouldn’t help my career getting that ticket.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 12, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      I said the same thing last week and got a bit crushed for mentioning it. Still stand by it.
      I had to explain to a non-baseball watcher, that the joyous champagne spraying and man giggling was because a team had just effectively progressed to the quarter finals. Ridiculous.

      • stex52 - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        What he said. ^

      • brewcrewfan54 - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        Agree 100%

  8. kevinbnyc - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I’d love to see Granderson and A-Rod sit tonight. Play Ichiro in center. Hell, play Swisher in center. I don’t care. I just can’t watch anymore strikeouts. It hurts.

  9. Joe - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I think you would have gotten more offense last night by running out the Greener Pastures Retirement Community’s over-70 softball squad. Around the bottom of the 12th I became convinced that the game would still be going on this morning, an endless series of pop-ups, strikeouts, and soft ground balls hit directly to the 2nd baseman. It was like watching the Phillies back in May and June, except worse because there were two teams who couldn’t get a hit with runners on base–the few times there actually were runners on base.

  10. APBA Guy - Oct 12, 2012 at 11:58 AM

    All is blackness.

    The best pitcher on the planet? 9 IP, 0 runs, in a win-or-go-home game. And the looks on the A’s said it all. There was an awareness it was different, that the stuff was better, and the best you could hope for was weak contact. When 11 of you weren’t striking out.

    It didn’t matter what Parker did, or Cook, or Bob Melvin. The only thing that mattered was Verlander. To Oakland fans, he was the plague incarnate.

    Thus ends the A’s season. In April and May, only the most deluded could have imagined that the A’s would have played into the last game of the ALDS. Then, like a light switch, the team started to click. Even more amazing, they were fun to watch. The rookie pitchers started to take on individual personas, and there was a realization that they were pitching, really, really well. Sure, they didn’t have the big arms of Gio, Brett, and The White Rabbit, but they controlled their stuff much better. And with the exception of Weeks, this team could catch the ball.

    The front office didn’t add much at the deadline, but more importantly, they didn’t subtract: Crisp and Balfour remained. Then Drew came in and moved Pennington to second, and now the infield tightened up to match the outfield.

    August and September saw steadily increasing crowds in the yard to watch the Cespedes/Moss show. But everybody contributed. Was the highlight Bernie Saturday? No, it was the final series against Texas, with a sell-out crowd and more noise than any other MLB park for the 12-5 Division Decider against the Rangers.

    Message to Wolff/Fisher: Since 2005 you’ve bad-mouthed the A’s fan base. Put a winner on the field, see what you get?

    Anyway, 2012 was a great, great fan experience. Let’s see what the Great and Powerful Beane has in store for us in the offseason. Probably lose Drew, can’t expect Moss to repeat at .954 OPS (Keith Law estimates .770), so maybe he can get another scrap-heap star or two. But please keep Gomes.

    And this weekend, the ceremonial donning of the orange SF cap will occur, as loyalty is loaned to the richer, more veteran cross-bay team who moved on behind their great pitching.

    But in the back of my mind, I’ll still be hearing the roar of the faithful:

    “Let’s Go Oakland!”

    • natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM

      I caught the very end of the game, and the reactions of the A’s and their fans. Classy.

    • indaburg - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      When you run into a unstoppable force like Verlander, what can you do? Congratulate your team for a great season, wait til next year, and hope Detroit doesn’t make it to the post-seaon again.

      Agree with you on Gomes. I thought the Rays made a mistake letting him go.

    • franklb - Oct 12, 2012 at 6:56 PM

      Agree completely re Wolff/Fisher. The fans cheer the team. When ownership shows such disrespect for a fan base, the fans are torn. They don’t know what to do, so they stay away. But the 2012 A’s were too compelling a story for fans to stay away forever, especially after winning the division.

      I was there for the 12-5 AL West-clinching win, and for all three home ALDS games. Great, great stuff. The fans were incredible. Made me wish the A’s would have gone all the way so that Wolff could feel as though he were living “Major League”.

      Classy fans, cheering the team after Game 5. Classy team, coming out and taking a bow (and tossing batting gloves by the dozens into the stands). Reddick tipping his cap to the Tigers as they walked off for their continued celebration. Great, great season.

  11. natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I didn’t actually see Jayson Werth’s fly ball clear the visitors’ bullpen fence. Being old and decrepit, I couldn’t rise out of the seat fast enough and had a blocked view. But Matt Holliday’s body language told me everything I needed to know.

    As often happened this season (including in Game 1 of this series), the Nats persevered and found a way to win. Yesterday, it was Ross Detwiler pitching the game of his young career; Jordan Zimmermann redeeming himself for his horrible Game 2 performance; Tyler Clippard overcoming his late-season ineffectiveness; and Drew Storen getting the outs he needed despite not being sharp. And solo homers by the team’s two most experienced hitters.

    Of course, one hopes one’s favorite team wins the deciding game big-time. The reasonable expectation for tonight is for another 2-1 or 3-2 stress-inducer.

    BTW, for those who like to rip us Nats fans for not showing up. The paid attendance was over 44,000, about 107% of capacity. This coming after the 45,000 for Wednesday afternoon’s game. I had been concerned myself whether my fellow Nats fans would fill the park. After all, we’re new to this playoff stuff. We’ve filled the park; I expect we will again tonight.

    • natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      A link to the call by Nats radio guy Charlie Slowes. He and partner Dave Jaegler were remembering a game-tying homer Werth his off Heath Bell.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:20 PM

        hit, that is.

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