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Looking ahead to ALDS Game 2: Tigers-Athletics

Oct 5, 2013, 11:10 AM EDT

Justin Verlander Reuters Reuters

Backed by 11 strikeouts over seven innings from AL Cy Young favorite Max Scherzer, the Tigers topped the Athletics 3-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS at O.Co Coliseum. The two teams will meet for Game 2 this evening at 9:00 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast on TBS.

Here’s a quick look at the pitching matchup and some random notes:

Already down one game in the series, the Athletics will turn to rookie right-hander Sonny Gray. A first-round pick in 2011, the 23-year-old right-hander has been mighty impressive since making his major league debut in July, posting a 2.67 ERA and 67/20 K/BB ratio over 64 innings in 10 starts and two relief appearances. We may have seen the starting rotation arranged differently if A.J. Griffin was healthy, but Athletics manager Bob Melvin wanted to give Gray the start at home as opposed to Comerica Park.

After facing Scherzer in Game 1, things don’t get any easier for the A’s tonight, as Justin Verlander will be on the hill for Detroit. While Verlander had somewhat of a down season for his lofty standards, posting a 3.46 ERA in 34 starts, he finished September by striking out 22 batters in 12 scoreless innings over his final two starts. Not good news for an A’s team which set a franchise playoff record by striking out 16 times in Game 1.

As for the Athletics’ lineup, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group speculates that Daric Barton could be benched for Game 2 while Brandon Moss starts at first base and Seth Smith serves as the designated hitter. Barton went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in Game 1 and had a pair of defensive miscues.

There probably won’t be any major changes for the Tigers. Andy Dirks made the start in left field last night, but it’s possible we’ll see Jhonny Peralta out there there for Game 2. Then again, O.co Coliseum can be pretty tricky to navigate, so it might not be the best setting to experiment. Miguel Cabrera was removed for defensive purposes in the eighth inning last night, but he told Paul Hagen of MLB.com after the game that he “felt good.” He went 1-for-4 with an RBI single before exiting.

  1. pappageorgio - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    Has Sonny Gray been traded to Boston?

  2. goawaydog - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I thought verlander was supposed to start game 3 back in Deeetroit.

  3. detroitbasketballfan - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Justin verlander while only being 13-12 has a respectable 3.46 era this year. He also has 8 losses by only one run so he could easily been 17-8 had things been a little different for him

  4. ptfu - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    “…O.co Coliseum can be pretty tricky to navigate…”

    Navigate what, the flood of sewage? Set sail for left field? Forget defense, which outfielder is caught up on his vaccinations?

  5. normcash - Oct 5, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    Tropicana Field???????

  6. APBA Guy - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    The A’s looked overanxious at the plate last night, and overmatched as well. But losing game one isn’t the end of the series as the Pirates and Atlanta have shown. The big Mausoleum crowd of 46,000 will be ready to rock. It’s up to Gray to keep the crowd in the game by holding Detroit early and not allowing a bad start like what happened last night. The A’s are better than what they showed last night. They just need to show it tonight.

  7. beelza - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    The story starts and ends with Detroit’s offense. How guys can look at the agony that is Miguel Cabrera and not be inspired to hit, to score is reprehensible … and shocking. I am duly ready to run Jim Leyland and his GM right out of town for not sitting Miguel some 7 weeks ago. Unless Miggy needs surgery, 7 weeks is a lot of time for groin issues to heal. Kicker is, Leyland’s team was still no where near securing home field adv., and Miggy was allowed to keep playing day after day. Were he kept in and Tigers gained home field adv. fine – but that didn’t happen. Andy
    Dirks 0-3 on 8 freaking pitchers. Prince, 1-14 post season, zero power. wtf prince.

  8. dracko19 - Oct 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Verlander was the best pitcher in baseball the past 30 days. Tigers play in Comerica Park. Miggy has a Hernia and playing through it. It’s a marvel to behold.

    • NatsLady - Oct 5, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      September doesn’t count–seriously. Cleveland had a terrific September and were one and done. Depends on the opposition, whether they are resting players, etc. That said, it sure seems like Verlander is back to form.

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