Friday, October 11, 2013

MLB Playoffs: Day Eight

So, for the second straight year, the Tigers and Athletics met for a Game Five in the former Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, and for the second straight year, Jason Verlander ended Oakland's season.  In a game where Verlander went 8 innings, and the A's got only three hits, Detroit beat Oakland 3-0 to win the series and advance to the next round.  Verlander has pitched against Oakland four times in the playoffs during the last two years, and he is currently on a 29-inning scoreless streak against the Athletics.  If the A's get back to the playoffs next year -- and they are fully capable of doing so -- they better hope they don't draw Detroit again.

In the end, Oakland's wondrous team play was done in by Detroit's star power.  Detroit's two big aces -- Max Scherzer and Jason Verlander -- got all three of Detroit's wins.  And Miguel Cabrera -- the best hitter in the game -- overcame his injury problems tonight to hit the two-run homer in the fourth that gave Detroit all the runs it needed.

It is tempting to think of the playoffs as random -- and they are certainly much more random than a 162-game season.  But they do reward great pitching.  The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw, the Cardinals have Adam Wainwright, and the Tigers have Verlander and Scherzer.  In each of those series, those guys were the difference.

One other point should be made -- the Wild Cards (Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay) are gone, and we have four very worthy teams still playing.  No one is going to think we had a fluke champion this year.

And so the divisional series end as follows:

National League Divisional Series (Best of Five):
Los Angeles beat Atlanta 3-1
St. Louis beat Pittsburgh 3-2

American League Divisional Series (Best of Five):
Boston beat Tampa Bay 3-1
Detroit beat Oakland 3-2

The National League Championship Series starts Friday night:

Los Angeles at St. Louis (7:30 P.M. Central on TBS)


  1. That Peanuts cartoon was based on the actual conclusion of the 1962 World Series.

  2. Jane Lee ‏@JaneMLB
    Beane: "You can't rank disappointments. It's like ranking hangovers. They're all bad."
    2:31 PM - 11 Oct 13