|OAKLAND ( PARKER )|
DETROIT ( VERLANDER )
|AL Division Series - Best of 5 - Game 1|
|907||OAKLAND||+175||Ov 7.5,+105||+175||Ov 7.5,+105|
|908||DETROIT||-185||Un 7.5,-125||-185||Un 7.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||62-39||+32||37-62||4.3||0.238||0.308||3.3||0.241||0.296|
|Past 7 Games||6-1||+5.5||4-3||6.6||0.259||0.328||3.7||0.239||0.286|
|vs Right-handed Starters||62-49||-3.3||47-58||4.6||0.270||0.331||4.0||0.254||0.309|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.4||2-4||3.4||0.237||0.280||2.9||0.221||0.307|
|9/22/2012||BLACKLEY(L)||@ NY YANKEES||NOVA(R)||9-10||L||150||9 un||O||15||13||3||16||17||0|
|9/23/2012||GRIFFIN(R)||@ NY YANKEES||KURODA(R)||5-4||W||140||8.5 un||O||8||7||2||10||9||3|
|9/24/2012||STRAILY(R)||@ TEXAS||HOLLAND(L)||4-5||L||160||9 ov||P||8||7||2||9||10||0|
|9/25/2012||MILONE(L)||@ TEXAS||FELDMAN(R)||3-2||W||145||9.5 ov||U||7||7||1||7||6||0|
|9/26/2012||PARKER(R)||@ TEXAS||PEREZ(L)||9-3||W||115||9.5 ev||O||16||9||1||5||8||1|
|9/27/2012||BLACKLEY(L)||@ TEXAS||HARRISON(L)||7-9||L||187||9 ov||O||11||4||2||14||6||0|
|10/6/2012||PARKER(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|10/7/2012||MILONE(L)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)|| |
|9/24/2012||VERLANDER(R)||KANSAS CITY||HOCHEVAR(R)||6-2||W||-255||7.5 un||O||13||4||0||9||6||1|
|9/25/2012||SANCHEZ(R)||KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||2-0||W||-170||8.5 ev||U||10||10||0||3||4||0|
|9/26/2012||PORCELLO(R)||KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||5-4||W||-150||8.5 un||O||9||6||1||10||5||0|
|9/27/2012||FISTER(R)||KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)||5-4||W||-210||8.5 ev||O||8||4||0||6||3||5|
|9/28/2012||SMYLY(L)||@ MINNESOTA||DIAMOND(L)||2-4||L||-130||8.5 un||U||6||5||1||4||6||2|
|9/29/2012||VERLANDER(R)||@ MINNESOTA||WALTERS(R)||6-4||W||-250||8 ev||O||8||5||1||6||9||1|
|9/30/2012||SANCHEZ(R)||@ MINNESOTA||HENDRIKS(R)||2-1||W||-160||9 un||U||7||6||0||10||11||0|
|10/1/2012||PORCELLO(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||CHEN(L)||6-3||W||-125||9 un||P||14||8||1||9||8||1|
|10/2/2012||FISTER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||GUTHRIE(R)||2-4||L||-125||8.5 un||U||6||6||0||9||8||2|
|10/3/2012||SCHERZER(R)||@ KANSAS CITY||MENDOZA(R)||1-0||W||100||8.5 ev||U||7||7||0||6||11||0|
|10/9/2012||SANCHEZ(R)||@ OAKLAND||ANDERSON(L)|| |
|OAKLAND: HITTING: 2B JEMILE WEEKS may not be a legitimate .300 hitter, but he's still the best option they have at the leadoff spot. C KURT SUZUKI seemingly hits as many line outs as anyone in baseball. He has a solid bat for a catcher and qualifies as a middle-of-the-order option in Oakland. OF JOSH REDDICK is more of a line-drive hitter than a 25-HR guy, and he doesn't yet have the plate discipline to approach .300. 1B BRANDON ALLEN is an all-or-nothing hitter, but his potential for much-needed power should be enough for him to beat out DARIC BARTON. SS CLIFF PENNINGTON has quietly developed into a serviceable regular. With 3B SCOTT SIZEMORE out for the season with a torn ACL, either ERIC SOGARD or JOSH DONALDSON will win the job at third base. Neither player has reached 80 career at-bats yet. Highly-coveted Cuban OF YOENIS CESPEDES inked a four-year deal with Oakland, and will be expected to produced in the heart of the lineup immediately. OF COLLIN COWGILL is undersized, but has shown impressive power in the minors. The DH spot will fall to Allen when Barton is in the lineup. When he's not, it will be filled by such Quadruple-A types as KILA KA'AIHUE and CHRIS CARTER. |
STARTING PITCHING: BRANDON McCARTHY reclamation project worked out nicely. He's an injury risk, but when healthy he's one of baseball's better middle-of-the-rotation arms. BARTOLO COLON pitched better than expected with the Yankees last year (7.4 K/9, 4.00 ERA), and should perform just as well in his new spacious ballpark. DALLAS BRADEN (shoulder) and BRETT ANDERSON (elbow) are both question marks after major surgeries. Braden's return date has been pushed back to early May, while Anderson will might not take the hill until June. The jewel of the Trevor Cahill trade, hard-throwing righty JARROD PARKER has a chance to make a big impact if his arm is recovered from 2009 Tommy John surgery. The Gio Gonzalez trade landed Oakland TOMMY MILONE and BRAD PEACOCK, both of whom are coming off impressive minor-league seasons. They'll compete for rotation spots this spring. TYSON ROSS could get a few starts, but he's gotten very hittable over the past year. They're in no hurry to start the arbitration clock of top prospect SONNY GRAY, but he should make some late-season starts.
RELIEF PITCHING: With Andrew Bailey gone, righty GRANT BALFOUR (2.47 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) will get the first chance to close games. Though his occasional bouts with command issues make him a risk. If Balfour falters, BRIAN FUENTES will get the next look because of his ninth-inning experience and strong second half of 2011 . . . Long a favorite inside the organization, injury-prone righty JOEY DEVINE has long been considered a future closer and should get some late-innings duties. The highest upside option for a future closer is 25-year-old righty FAUTINO DE LOS SANTOS. He has overpowering stuff but his command comes and goes.
|DETROIT: HITTING: OF AUSTIN JACKSON doesn't make much contact, but manager Jim Leyland likes his speed in the leadoff spot. RYAN RABURN and RAMON SANTIAGO will split second base duties, with Raburn getting the majority of the starts. 3B MIGUEL CABRERA seems to have cleaned up his act. He's an MVP candidate. So is newcomer 1B PRINCE FIELDER who will try to keep slugging in his move to a pitchers' park. His presence was needed after DH VICTOR MARTINEZ was lost for the season with a knee injury. OF DELMON YOUNG is a pending free agent, and he hit well after escaping spacious Target Field. He'll nab the starting LF job but could also DH. OF BRENNAN BOESCH did enough pre-injury to earn an everyday role, but he'll again be in danger of fading over the summer. SS JHONNY PERALTA had a resurgence in 2011, and he's on the right side of 30. C ALEX AVILA might not hit for average, but his power is legit. Leyland favorite BRANDON INGE and DON KELLY will back up the All-Star corner infielders, so neither expect to get much playing time. Streaky OF ANDY DIRKS is a fourth outfielder. C GERALD LAIRD will spell Avila. |
STARTING PITCHING: You can't expect an identical stat line for JUSTIN VERLANDER; his opponent .236 batting average on balls in play suggests there was some luck involved in his MVP season. But he's still the best pitcher in the American League by a wide margin. DOUG FISTER's improved strikeout rate with the Tigers suggests he could sustain success as a quality No. 2 starter. MAX SCHERZER can still be outstanding when he's on, but he was inconsistent again last year. He could figure it out in his late-20s, but time is running out. RICK PORCELLO still has a ways to go. His mid-season success came against some weak lineups. He's still only 23, but he hasn't been able to beat hitters at any level in the pros. The Tigers are still searching for a No. 5 starter. Top prospect JACOB TURNER is only 20, but the Tigers haven't been shy about fast-tracking young arms. He was dominant in the minors, but torched in his first big-league stint. ANDY OLIVER appears to be the front-runner for this role, but DREW SMYLY is also a possibility.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOSE VALVERDE was perfect in 2011, but it was a surprising development considering his sliding K/BB ratio. For Tigers fans, he carries more risk than 49-for-49 would suggest. One of baseball's better set-up men, JOAQUIN BENOIT is an eighth-inning-only guy. He'd take over if Valverde got hurt. OCTAVIO DOTEL is another elite set-up man who will step up as the seventh-inning guy. As good as AL ALBURQUERQUE was in the regular season (one extra-base hit'a double'allowed in 43.1 innings!), he's out until at least the All-Star break after offseason elbow surgery. Lefty DANIEL SCHLERETH has a chance to be the closer of the future, but first he'll need to cut down on the walks.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (OAKLAND-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Adds quote from Neshek. With AP Photos.)
*Athletics-Tigers Preview* ==========================
By NOAH TRISTER AP Baseball Writer
Oakland (94-68) at Detroit (88-74), 6:07 p.m. EDT
DETROIT (AP) -- One team has the reigning MVP and another player who just won the Triple Crown.
The Oakland Athletics will try to counter all that by sending - who else? - a rookie to the mound.
"We've been the `David' all year," A's right-hander Jarrod Parker said. "I think obviously it's a role and an image that we've kind of taken on and been able to embrace and it's fun."
Parker will start against Detroit ace Justin Verlander in Game 1 of the division series Saturday night. The AL Central-champion Tigers are making their second straight playoff appearance, but Oakland emerged as one of the game's biggest surprises by winning the AL West.
Now the A's have to contend with Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera - the Detroit third baseman who might win the American League MVP after Verlander took the award last year.
"We know we've got a great ballclub. We know what we have in the clubhouse," Cabrera said. "We know we're going to face a very hot team like Oakland. They play unbelievable baseball right now."
Cabrera hit .330 with 44 home runs and 139 RBIs to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1967. But he wasn't the only big story in the closing days of the regular season. The A's rallied to win the AL West, edging Texas by one game when they beat the Rangers on the final day.
Not bad for a team that had the lowest opening day payroll in the majors. Oakland got 56 homers and 54 wins from a cast of rookies that included Parker (13-8) and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. Rookie left-hander Tommy Milone, who matched Parker with 13 wins, is slated to start Game 2.
"Obviously with Verlander going Game 1, you've got to be on your game," Parker said. "We have a lot of left-handed bats that are hot right now, and I think that's one thing we've got going for us."
Outfielder Josh Reddick, one of Oakland's left-handed hitters, hit 32 home runs this year.
The series will start with two games in Detroit, where the weather can be a factor this time of year. In 2006, the Tigers swept the A's in the AL championship series, and there were snow flurries at Comerica on a workout day between games. It rained a bit Friday, but the forecast for Saturday looked clear.
That was good news for Verlander (17-8), the powerful right-hander who had two playoff starts cut short by rain last year.
"I saw a little bit of rain today, but I saw actually on my Twitter of all places that it's not - no rain in the forecast for tomorrow," Verlander said.
Verlander led the majors in strikeouts this year, and Max Scherzer - Detroit's Game 4 starter - finished second. That could be an asset for the Tigers, especially since Oakland struck out more than any other team. Detroit hasn't been very good defensively in 2012, but if the A's aren't making consistent contact, it might not matter.
The Tigers are expected to start Doug Fister in Game 2, followed by Anibal Sanchez. Scherzer, who was bothered by a right shoulder issue down the stretch, threw four innings in the regular-season finale Wednesday - after twisting his right ankle two nights earlier in the celebration after Detroit clinched the division. The Tigers are content to wait until Game 4 to start him.
"The Scherzer situation - coming off a little bit of the ankle situation and the shoulder - we decided that would be the best way to go," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "It would also - just by pitching him, Sanchez in front of Scherzer - would keep Sanchez from keeping off too long."
The A's begin the postseason days after the death of reliever Pat Neshek's newborn son. Neshek is back with the team for this series.
"As soon as I got out there and started playing catch, it takes your mind off all the bad stuff," Neshek told reporters. "It's a good way of healing. . I don't think we'll ever get over it, but this is a good way to put the pieces back together."
|Last Updated: 3/21/2018 11:53:40 AM EST|