|DETROIT ( SCHERZER )|
OAKLAND ( GRIFFIN )
|AL Division Series - Best of 5 - Game 4 - DET Leads 2-1|
|931||DETROIT||-105||Ov 7,-110||-105||Ov 7,-110|
|932||OAKLAND||-105||Un 7,-110||-105||Un 7,-110|
|vs Right-handed Starters||63-49||-2.3||47-59||4.6||0.270||0.330||4.0||0.253||0.308|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+2.8||1-5||2.7||0.246||0.292||2.1||0.234||0.320|
|vs Right-handed Starters||63-41||+31||38-64||4.2||0.237||0.307||3.3||0.241||0.296|
|Past 7 Games||5-2||+3.5||2-5||4.4||0.231||0.311||2.7||0.237||0.278|
|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)||0-2||L||120||7 ov||U||4||4||0||5||4||0|
|10/10/2012||SCHERZER(R)||@ OAKLAND||GRIFFIN(R)|| |
|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)||1-3||L||175||7.5 un||U||4||7||1||7||4||0|
|10/7/2012||MILONE(L)||@ DETROIT||FISTER(R)||4-5||L||145||7.5 ov||O||9||8||1||11||10||0|
|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.
|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.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (DETROIT-OAKLAND) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Tigers-Athletics Preview* ==========================
By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer
Detroit (88-74) at Oakland (94-68), 9:37 p.m. EDT
Max Scherzer spent the final weeks of the regular season dealing with injuries, but Jim Leyland has proclaimed that his right-hander is healthy and ready to go.
The Detroit Tigers manager is hoping to see another strong outing from Scherzer as his team tries again to close out the Oakland Athletics in Game 4 of their AL division series Wednesday night.
Scherzer lasted only two innings in his previous matchup with Oakland on Sept. 18 because of fatigue in his right shoulder. He went five innings in a loss to Minnesota five days later, but missed his next scheduled start because of that ailment.
Scherzer also hurt his right ankle while celebrating Detroit's AL Central title on Oct. 1 but managed to pitch four scoreless innings two days later in Kansas City.
"He feels great," Leyland said. "He's very healthy. He's a hundred percent. He threw about 75, 80 pitches over in Kansas City. So we'll monitor him close. But I expect him to be full bore, all out and the game will dictate how long he pitches."
Scherzer has allowed two runs or fewer in nine of his last 10 outings, going 6-1 with a 1.65 ERA over that stretch. He also gave up two runs and five hits while striking out nine over 6 1-3 innings during a 10-6 win in Oakland on May 10.
Entering his fourth postseason start, Scherzer (16-7, 3.74 ERA) finished the regular season with career highs in wins and strikeouts, with his 231 ranking second in the majors to teammate Justin Verlander.
He pitched six scoreless innings during his postseason debut last year in a 5-3 win at Yankee Stadium, but wasn't as sharp in the AL championship series, getting tagged for six runs over 2 1-3 innings in a 15-5 drubbing that gave Texas the pennant in Game 6.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin is hoping rookie right-hander A.J. Griffin can have a similar playoff debut and help the A's force a deciding Game 5. Griffin was taken in the 13th round of the 2010 draft and was pitching in the Class-A California League playoffs last September.
"I just try to go out there and just have fun and be loose, not put too much pressure on yourself," Griffin said. "It's still a game. You go out there and just try to enjoy it."
After losing the first two in Detroit, Oakland limited the Tigers to four hits in a 2-0 victory Tuesday. Yoenis Cespedes had an RBI single in the first inning and Seth Smith added a solo homer in the fifth.
Cespedes was also one of three A's players to rob Detroit slugger Prince Fielder of potential hits, making a diving catch in left in the seventh. Center fielder Coco Crisp took away a home run in the second and shortstop Stephen Drew prevented him from getting a single in the fourth.
"It's frustrating," Fielder said. "But it's a good team you're playing. They're going to make those plays. That's why they're here."
Fielder, who signed a nine-year, $214 million deal before this season, is 1 for 12 in the series but was one of three players to homer off Griffin in a 12-2 rout at Comerica Park on Sept. 18. Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta were the others.
That loss was the only one in 15 major league starts for Griffin, who was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA. He gave up five runs and eight hits over 4 2-3 innings in that matchup with the Tigers, part of a mixed showing down the stretch.
Griffin allowed one run and four hits over 5 2-3 innings in an 8-2 win over Seattle on Sept. 28, but his performance last Wednesday created a hurdle for the A's as they completed their rally for the AL West title. He gave up five runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings against Texas before Oakland rallied for a 12-5 win and its first division championship in six years.
"What we try to stress with him is focus on the good things that have happened, not the couple of tough starts that (he's) had," Melvin said. "(He's) accomplished a lot up to this point and pitched a lot of really good games and know that your team feels very good about you on the mound."
The A's have won seven of Griffin's eight home starts, and he left in the second inning with an injury in the only one they lost.
|Last Updated: 9/20/2014 7:05:37 PM EST|