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Oakland Athletics MLB News - A’s Baseball Blog » The Playoffs

The Oakland A’s leave A.J. Griffin off the N.L.D.S. roster

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by joelapinski on Wednesday 2 October 2013 at 12:57 pm

The A’s have left 25-year old righty starting pitcher A.J. Griffin off the roster for the N.L.D.S.  Griffin pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the A’s this year and he was 14-10 with a 3.83 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.  Griffin gave up 171 hits (a major league leading 36 homers) and he walked 54 batters while whiffing 171 of them this year.  Griffin has now pitched in 47 games (all starts) for the A’s in his first two years with the team and he is 21-11 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.  This was a little bit of a surprise.

The Oakland Athletics had a great year in 2012

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Tuesday 16 October 2012 at 4:21 pm

The Oakland A’s surged late in the year to overtake the Texas Rangers and win the A.L. West in 2012. They were 94-68 (58%) during the regular season, winning the division by 1 game. They then lost in five games to the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the playoffs. Here are the players that made the biggest impacts for the A’s in 2012, in my opinion:

Team MVP: Yoenis Cespedes - 26-year old righty swinging LF Yoenis Cespedes had little trouble with major league pitching as a rookie in 2012 for the A’s. He played in 129 games for the A’s last year and he was 142 of 487 (.292 avg, .861 OPS) with 70 runs scored, 23 homers, 82 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.

Best Pitcher: Grant Balfour - 34-year old righty reliever Grant Balfour lost his closer’s job really early in the season, but he got it back when rookie Ryan Cook started to falter, and he never looked back. Balfour pitched in 75 games (0 starts) for the A’s last year and he was 3-2 with 24 saves, a 2.53 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. He gave up only 41 hits and 28 walks while whiffing 72 batters in 74 2/3 innings for the A’s in 2012.

Biggest Surprise: Josh Reddick - The A’s thought they were getting a decent player in Josh Reddick when they got him as part of the return in the Andrew Bailey deal with the Red Sox. But, they didn’t expect him to become a big time power hitter. Reddick played in 156 games for the A’s last year and he was 148 of 611 (.242 avg, .768 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 32 homers, 85 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.

Biggest Disappointment: Bartolo Colon - 39-year old righty starting pitcher Bartolo Colon was rolling along for the A’s, looking like he found the fountain of youth. That was until he got suspended for 50 games due to a positive test for Testosterone. Colon started 24 games for the A’s in 2012 and he was 10-9 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.

Game #5: Detroit Tigers 6, Oakland A’s 0

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Friday 12 October 2012 at 1:48 am

The A’s never had much of a chance in this game as Justin Verlander shut them down in a vice. Yoenis Cespedes (1 for 4), Josh Donaldson (1 for 3), Brandon Moss (1 for 2 with a walk) and Cliff Pennington (1 for 3) led the way with the bats for the A’s in this game. The A’s were 4 for 30 (.133 avg) with 1 walk and 11 whiffs in this game. Jarrod Parker got the start and he had a rough time. He pitched 6 1/3 innings in which he allowed 7 hits, 4 runs (all earned), walked 1 batter and he whiffed 6 of them. He was the losing pitcher. Ryan Cook also had a rough time as he gave up 1 hit, 1 walk and 2 runs (both earned) without getting anyone out. Jeremy Blevins worked 2/3 of an inning allowing 1 hit and 0 runs. Evan Scribner finished up this game by working two scoreless innings in which he gave up no baserunners while whiffing 3 batters. The A’s lost this series 3-2 to the Tigers, but they went further than anyone expected them to go.

Game #4: Oakland A’s 4, Detroit Tigers 3

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Thursday 11 October 2012 at 8:09 am

Things were looking pretty bad heading into the 9th inning yesterday, as they were losing 3-1 with Tigers’ closer Jose Valverde on the mound. Seth Smith whacked a 2-run double with no one out in the 9th inning and then Coco Crisp knocked him in with a 2-out single to give the A’s an incredible win. Stephen Drew (2 for 4 with a double and a RBI) and Seth Smith (1 for 3 with 1 run scored, a double and 2 RBIs) led the way for the A’s in this game. Coco Crisp (1 for 5 with a run scored and a RBI), Josh Reddick (1 for 4 with 1 run scored), Josh Donaldson (1 for 4 with a run scored and a double) and Derek Norris (1 for 3) also pitched in with the bats for the A’s last night. A.J. Griffin was solid yesterday in working the first five innings for the A’s, allowing 7 hits, no walks, 2 runs (both earned) and he whiffed 1 batter. Jeremy Blevins was next up and he worked two flawless innings in which he didn’t allow any baserunners. Sean Doolittle had a rough time working 2/3 of an inning allowing 3 hits and 1 run (it was earned). Ryan Cook earned the win by throwing 1 1/3 shutout innings while whiffing 1 batter and allowing no baserunners. The A’s are now tied up with the Tigers with a winner take all Game #5 tonight in Oakland.

Game #3: Oakland A’s 2, Detroit Tigers 0

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Wednesday 10 October 2012 at 9:18 am

The Oakland A’s pitchers were dominating last night against the Tigers. Brett Anderson was awesome last night for the A’s. He worked the first six innings for the A’s last night and he gave up 2 hits, no runs, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts as he was the winning pitcher. Ryan Cook was next up and he worked a scoreless 7th inning, allowing 1 hit while whiffing 1 batter. Sean Doolittle was overpowering in the 8th inning, whiffing all three batters he faced. Grant Balfour gave up 1 hit in the 9th inning and he whiffed a batter on his way to the save. The A’s were only 5 for 27 (.185 avg) as a team last night. Josh Donaldson (2 for 3), Seth Smith (1 for 3 with a solo homer), Coco Crisp (1 for 4 with 1 run scored) and Yoenis Cespedes (1 for 4 with 1 RBI) led the way for the A’s with the bats last night. The A’s are still down 2-1 to the Tigers in this series.

Game #2: Detroit Tigers 5, Oakland A’s 4

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Sunday 7 October 2012 at 5:36 pm

The bullpen imploded in this game for the A’s, wasting a great effort by rookie starting pitcher Tim Milone. Milone pitched the first six innings of the game earlier today and he gave up 5 hits, 1 run (it was earned), walked 1 batter and he whiffed 6 of them. Lefty Sean Doolittle was next up and he gave up 2 hits, 2 runs (none earned due to a Coco Crisp error) and he whiffed 2 batters in 1 inning. Ryan Cook wasn’t any better as he gave up 2 hits and 1 run (it was earned) in 1 inning today while whiffing 2 batters. Closer Grant Balfour came into the game in the 9th inning with the game tied and he gave up the losing run. He worked 2/3 of an inning today, giving up 2 hits, 1 run (earned) and he walked 1 batter while whiffing 1. The A’s scored 4 runs on nine hits today, as they looked much better than last night. Yoenis Cespedes was 2 for 5 with 1 run scored, 1 RBI and 2 stolen bases. Cliff Pennington (2 for 3 with 1 run scored and 1 RBI) and Josh Reddick (1 for 4 with a solo homer) also pitched in for the A’s with the bats in this game. The A’s are now down 2-0 in the A.L.D.S. as the series shifts to Oakland.

Game #1: Detroit Tigers 3, Oakland A’s 1

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Sunday 7 October 2012 at 7:49 am

Things started out good for the A’s yesterday when Coco Crisp whacked a homer off of Justin Verlander to lead off the game. That looks like it just got Verlander mad as the A’s could only muster 4 hits last night while whiffing 14 times against Tigers’ pitchers. Stephen Drew (1 for 4 with a double), Yoenis Cespedes (1 for 3 with a walk) and Cliff Pennington (1 for 2 with a walk) also pitched in for the A’s with the bats. The A’s were also pretty awful defensively despite only having one error in this game (by Jarrod Parker). Jarrod Parker pitched pretty well overall despite being the losing pitcher last night. He worked the first 6 1/3 innings for the A’s, allowing 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned ones), walking 1 batter and whiffing 5 of them. Pat Neshek pitched to two batters and he got both of them out, whiffing one of them. Jeremy Blevins finished things up last night, working a scoreless 8th inning in which he gave up 0 baserunners. The A’s are now down 1-0 in this series.

First Round of the Playoffs: Oakland A’s (94-68) vs. Detroit Tigers (88-74)

Blogged under Bloglockers, Front Page, General, The Playoffs by chinmusic on Friday 5 October 2012 at 8:12 pm

This is going to be a very interesting series between the upstart Oakland A’s (winner of the A.L. West) vs. the Detroit Tigers (winners of the A.L. Central). Here is a look at the matchups in this series:

CATCHER: 23-year old righty swinging rookie Derek Norris will likely be the starter for the A’s in this series. He played in 60 games for the A’s this year and he was 42 of 209 (.201 avg, .625 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 7 homers, 34 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. He has some holes in his swing, but he also has pretty good power.

25-year old lefty swinging Alex Avila had a rough year for the Tigers in 2012. He played in 116 games for the Tigers this year and he was 89 for 367 (.243 avg, .736 OPS) with 42 runs scored, 9 homers, 48 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Avila was pretty much useless in the post-season the last time he was there. He has played in 11 games in the post-season so far in his career and he is 3 for 41 (.073 avg, .263 OPS) with 1 run scored, 1 homer and 2 RBIs.

EDGE: EVEN

FIRST BASE: 25-year old righty swinging Chris Carter finally started to live up to the hype, at least power wise. Carter played in 67 games for the A’s this year and he was 52 of 218 (.239 avg, .864 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 16 homers and 39 RBIs. He does have some holes in his swing though.

28-year old lefty swinging Prince Fielder is one of the better hitters on this planet. He played in 162 games for the Tigers this year and he was 182 of 581 (.313 avg, .940 OPS) with 83 runs scored, 30 homers, 108 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Fielder has played in 15 post-season games so far in his career and he is 10 for 52 (.192 avg, .817 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 4 homers and 8 RBIs.

EDGE: HUGE FOR TIGERS

SECOND BASE: 28-year old switch-hitting Cliff Pennington lost his starting job at SS, then he moved over to 2B. Pennington played in 125 games for the A’s this year and he was 90 for 418 (.215 avg, .589 OPS) with 50 runs scored, 6 homers, 28 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He has yet to play in a playoff game in his career.

30-year old righty swinging Omar Infante had a decent year for the Tigers and Marlins in 2012. He played in 149 games overall this year and he was 152 of 554 (.274 avg, .719 OPS) with 69 runs scored, 12 homers, 53 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. Infante has played in 6 games in the post-season so far in his career and he is 5 for 21 (.238 avg, .590 OPS) with 1 run scored and 1 stolen base.

EDGE: TIGERS

SHORTSTOP: 29-year old lefty swinging Stephen Drew gave the A’s an offensive spark in September that they hope carries into the playoffs. Drew played in 79 games for the A’s and D-Backs in 2012 and he was 64 of 287 (.223 avg, .657 OPS) with 38 runs scored, 7 homers, 28 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Drew has played in seven games so far in the playoffs in his career and he is 12 for 31 (.387 avg, 1.084 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 2 homers, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base.

30-year old righty swinging Jhonny Peralta was a disappointment with the bat in 2012. He played in 150 games for the Tigers this year and he was 127 of 531 (.239 avg, .689 OPS) with 58 runs scored, 13 homers, 63 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Peralta has played in 22 games in the post-season so far in his career and he is 23 of 83 (.277 avg, .855 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 4 homers, 13 RBIs and 1 stolen base.

EDGE: EVEN

THIRD BASE: 26-year old righty swinging Josh Donaldson started the season slowly, getting demoted to AAA. But, when Brandon Inge was injured, the A’s called him up and he hit well. Donaldson played in 75 games for the A’s in 2012 and he was 66 for 274 (.241 avg, .687 OPS) with 34 runs scored, 9 homers, 33 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.

29-year old righty swinging Miguel Cabrera is the best hitter on the Planet Earth right now as he won the Triple Crown in the American League this year. Cabrera played in 161 games for the Tigers this year and he was 205 of 622 (.330 avg, .999 OPS) with 109 runs scored, 43 homers, 139 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Cabrera has played in 28 games in the playoffs so far in his career and he is 29 of 103 (.282 avg, .956 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 8 homers, 22 RBIs and 2 stolen bases.

EDGE: GIGANTIC FOR THE TIGERS

LEFT FIELD: 26-year old righty swinging Yoenis Cespedes was rock solid as a rookie for the A’s in 2012. He played in 129 games for the A’s this year and he was 142 of 487 (.292 avg, .861 OPS) with 70 runs scored, 23 homers, 82 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. The A’s need him to have a big series if they are going to pull an upset.

26-year old lefty swinging Andy Dirks has had a rock solid year for the Tigers in 2012. Dirks played in 88 games for the Tigers this year and he was 101 of 314 (.300 avg, .856 OPS) with 56 runs scored, 8 homers, 35 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Dirks has played in 2 playoff games so far in his career and he is 1 for 5 (.200 avg, .400 OPS) 1 run scored and 1 stolen base.

EDGE: A’S

CENTER FIELD: 32-year old switch-hitting Coco Crisp makes the A’s go offensively when he is healthy. Crisp played in 120 games for the A’s this year and he was 118 of 455 (.259 avg, .742 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 11 homers, 46 RBIs and 39 stolen bases. He has also played in 20 games in the post-season so far in his career and he is 16 of 57 (.281 avg, .683 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 0 homers, 3 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.

25-year old righty swinging Austin Jackson is also the spark for the Tigers at the top of their batting order. Jackson played in 137 games for the Tigers this year and he was 163 of 543 (.300 avg, .856 OPS) with 103 runs scored, 16 homers, 66 RBIs and 12 stolen bases. Jackson has also played in 11 games so far in the playoffs and he is 8 for 41 (.195 avg, .644 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer, 4 RBIs and 1 stolen base.

EDGE: EVEN

RIGHT FIELD: 25-year old lefty swinging Josh Reddick had a pretty solid first year for the A’s. He played in 156 games for the A’s this year and he was 148 of 611 (.242 avg, .768 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 32 homers, 85 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. The A’s need Reddick to have a good series.

27-year old lefty swinging Brennan Boesch was a disappointment for the Tigers this year. He played in 132 games for the Tigers this year and he was 113 of 470 (.240 avg, .659 OPS) with 52 runs scored, 12 homers, 54 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Boesch missed the playoffs last year due to injury.

EDGE: A’S

DESIGNATED HITTER: 31-year old Jonny Gomes will start some of the games at DH for the A’s in this series. He played in 99 games for the A’s this year and he was 73 of 279 (.262 avg, .868 OPS) with 46 runs scored, 18 homers, 47 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. Gomes has played in 2 games in the playoffs in his career so far and he is 0 for 6 (.000 avg, .000 OPS).

27-year old righty swinging Delmon Young started slowly in 2012 but he finished well. Young played in 151 games for the Tigers this year and he was 153 of 574 (.267 avg, .707 OPS) with 54 runs scored, 18 homers and 74 RBIs. He has played in 15 games so far in the playoffs in his career and he is 13 of 58 (.224 avg, .820 OPS) with 8 runs scored, 5 homers, 6 RBIs and 1 stolen base.

EDGE: EVEN

BENCH: The A’s are likely going to use their bench quite a bit in this series. 30-year old lefty swinging DH/OF Seth Smith will likely play against most righty starting pitchers in this series. Smith played in 125 games for the A’s this year and he was 92 of 383 (.240 avg, .754 OPS) with 55 runs scored, 14 homers, 52 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Smith has played in 9 games in the playoffs so far in his career and he is 4 for 11 (.364 avg, .871 OPS) with 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs. 29-year old lefty swinging Brandon Moss will likely start at 1B against righty starting pitchers. Moss played in 84 games for the A’s this year and he was 77 of 265 (.291 avg, .954 OPS) with 48 runs scored, 21 homers, 52 RBIs and 1 stolen base. 29-year old lefty swinging George Kottaras will likely platoon with Derek Norris behind the plate in the playoffs. He played in 85 games for the Brewers and A’s this year and he was 36 of 171 (.211 avg, .766 OPS) with 20 runs scored, 9 homers and 31 RBIs. He has also played in 3 games in the playoffs so far this year and he is 0 for 8 (.000 avg, .111 OPS) with 2 RBIs. 29-year old righty swinging infielder Adam Rosales played in 42 games for the A’s in 2012 and he was 22 of 99 (.222 avg, .631 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 2 homers and 8 RBIs.

The Tigers aren’t likely going to use their bench much in this series. 27-year old lefty swinging Quintin Berry turned in a decent rookie season for the Tigers in 2012. He played in 94 games for the Tigers this year and he was 75 of 291 (.258 avg, .684 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 2 homers, 29 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. Berry will likely be used as a pinch runner in this series for most of his P.T. 33-year old switch-hitting infielder Ramon Santiago can play anywhere in the infield except 1B. He played in 93 games for the Tigers this year and he was 47 of 228 (.206 avg, .555 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 2 homers, 17 RBIs and 1 stolen base. 32-year old righty swinging catcher Gerald Laird played solid baseball this year for the Tigers. He played in 63 games for the Tigers this year and he was 49 of 174 (.282 avg, .710 OPS) with 24 runs scored, 2 homers and 11 RBIs. 21-year old righty swinging rookie outfielder Avisail Garcia could also help off the bench in this series. He played in 23 games for the Tigers this year and he was 15 of 47 (.319 avg, .692 OPS) with 7 runs scored, 0 homers and 3 RBIs.

EDGE: A’S

STARTING PITCHING: The A’s could go with an all rookie rotation against the Tigers in this series. 23-year old righty Jarrod Parker will be the #1 starter for the A’s in this series. He started 29 games for the A’s this year and he was 13-8 with a 3.47 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. 25-year old lefty Tommy Milone will likely be #2 in line for the A’s. He started 31 games for the A’s this year and he was 13-10 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. 24-year old A.J. Griffin will likely be #3 in line for the A’s. He started 15 games for the A’s this year and he was 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. The #4 spot will come down to 29-year old lefty Travis Blackley and 23-year old rookie righty Dan Straily. Blackley pitched in 28 games (15 starts) for the A’s and Giants this year and he was 6-4 with a 4.10 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. Straily started 7 games for the A’s this year and he was 2-1 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. None of these guys have thrown an inning in the post-season.

29-year old righty Justin Verlander will be #1 for the Tigers in this series. He started 33 games for the Tigers this year and he was 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Verlander has had issues in the playoffs though, starting 8 games in which he is 3-3 with a 5.57 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. 28-year old righty Doug Fister will likely be #2 in line for the Tigers. Fister started 26 games for the Tigers this year and he was 10-10 with a 3.45 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Fister has pitched in 3 games (2 starts) in the playoffs so far in his career and he is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. 28-year old righty Max Scherzer will be #3 in line if he’s healthy enough to do so. Scherzer started 32 games for the Tigers this year and he was 16-7 with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. 28-year old Anibal Sanchez will round out the Tigers’ rotation in the first round of the playoffs. Sanchez started 31 games overall this year for the Tigers and Marlins and he was 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

EDGE: HUGE FOR TIGERS

CLOSER: 34-year old righty Grant Balfour was the closer at the start of the year, before losing the gig and regaining it at the end of the year. Balfour pitched in 75 games (0 starts) for the A’s in 2012 and he was 3-2 with 24 saves, a 2.53 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. Balfour has pitched in 15 games (0 starts) so far in the playoffs in his career and he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. He is the only pitcher on the A’s staff with playoff experience.

34-year old righty Jose Valverde doesn’t usually get many easy saves, but he is pretty dependable overall. He pitched in 71 games (0 starts) for the Tigers this year and he was 3-4 with 35 saves, a 3.78 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP. Valverde has pitched in 10 games (0 starts) in the playoffs so far in his career and he is 0-2 with 4 saves, a 5.25 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP.

EDGE: EVEN

RIGHTY RELIEVERS: 25-year old Ryan Cook was outstanding for the most part for the A’s as a rookie in 2012. Cook pitched in 71 games (0 starts) for the A’s this year and he was 6-2 with 14 saves, a 2.09 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. 30-year old Jim Miller was pretty solid for the A’s this year too, working in 33 games (0 starts) in which he was 2-1 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. 27-year old Evan Scribner pitched solid ball this year for the A’s. He pitched in 30 games (0 starts) in which he was 2-0 with 1 save, a 2.55 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. 32-year old side-arming Pat Neshek gives the A’s a unique look. He pitched in 24 games (0 starts) for the A’s this year and he was 2-1 with a 1.37 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP.

35-year old Joaquin Benoit is one of the best set-up men in the majors. He pitched in 73 games (0 starts) for the Tigers in 2012 and he was 5-3 with 2 saves, a 3.68 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Benoit has also pitched in 8 games (0 starts) so far in the playoffs so far in his career and he is 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA and a 0.62 WHIP. 38-year old Octavio Dotel just keeps rolling along. He pitched in 57 games (0 starts) for the Tigers this year and he was 5-3 with 1 save, a 3.57 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He has pitched in 20 games (0 starts) so far in the playoffs in his career and he is 3-1 with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. 25-year old Brayan Villarreal is a big time flame thrower. He pitched in 50 games (0 starts) for the Tigers this year and he was 3-5 with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. 26-year old Al Alburquerque came back late in the year for the Tigers and he was unhittable. He pitched in 8 games (0 starts) for the Tigers this year and he was 0-0 with a 0.68 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. But, he has had a rough time in the playoffs so far in his career, working in 4 games (0 starts) in which he is 0-0 with a 13.50 ERA and a 2.50 WHIP. 23-year old Rick Porcello will likely be the long man in the pen. He pitched in 31 games (all starts) for the Tigers this year and he was 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP.

EDGE: TIGERS

LEFTY RELIEVERS: The A’s have three flame throwers from the left side of the pen. 29-year old Jeremy Blevins is the top guy for the A’s. He pitched in 63 games (0 starts) for the A’s this year and he was 5-1 with 1 save, a 2.48 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. 26-year old Sean Doolittle is the hardest thrower of his bunch. He pitched in 44 games (0 starts) for the A’s this year and he was 2-1 with 1 save, a 3.04 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. 25-year old Jordan Norberto has also been solid this year, working in 39 games (0 starts) in which he is 4-1 with 1 save, a 2.77 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

30-year old Phil Coke is going to be the top lefty reliever for the Tigers in this series. He pitched in 66 games (0 starts) for the Tigers this year and he was 2-3 with 1 save, a 4.00 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP. He has also pitched in 11 games (0 starts) so far in the playoffs in his career and he is 0-0 with a 7.71 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP. 23-year old Drew Smyly will also likely be in the Tigers’ pen. He pitched in 23 games (18 starts) this year for the Tigers and he was 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

EDGE: A’S

MANAGER: Bob Melvin did a masterful job of getting the best out of his roster, as he led the A’s to an A.L. West title with a 94-68 (58%) record. Can he keep it going? Only time will tell. Melvin is 3-4 (42.9%) so far in the playoffs in his career.

Jim Leyland led the Tigers to a 88-74 (54.3%) record for a hard fought A.L. Central Division title. He is 32-28 (53.3%) in the playoffs in his major league career. He won the World Series in 1997 with the Florida Marlins and he has also lost a World Series in 2006 with the Tigers.

EDGE: TIGERS

PREDICTION: I think the A’s magic will be over in five games.

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