Saturday, October 06, 2012

Thoughts after 3 innings, A's, Tigers Game 1 ALDS

- Fielding is not the Tigers' strength, but they have outplayed the A's defensively so far. Oakland should have gotten out of the third inning easy on Quintin Berry's tapper. Instead, it became a major issue. A's second baseman Cliff Pennington did make a terrific play on Prince Fielder's potential bloop hit, saving a run.
- It's difficult to watch Delmon Young and not believe, as good a hitter as he is capable of being, that he would not be a much better player if he got himself in top physical condition. Most major league hitters would have had an infield single on his ground out in the second inning. He ran better than this last year, and the year before that when he was with the Twins, and certainly when he first appeared in the major leagues.
- Justin Verlander's last three pitches while striking out Brandon Moss to end the third inning were 97, 98 and 99 mph. But the big number right now is 61. That's too many pitches  after three innings. Part of it is the A's patience at the plate. Another part of it is a lack of command with his fastball by Verlander. He actually got a break on the 97 mph fastball. It was called a strike when it appeared to be ball four to Moss. In contrast, A's starter Jarrod Parker has thrown only 49 pitches despite a defensive breakdown behind him.
- Omar Infante seems to have settled down both at bat and in the field. His double in the third could be a sign he'll have a solid postseason.


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