Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thoughts after 7 innings, Tigers, A's, Game 4 ALDS

- Getting the first out in any inning means even more to Al Alburquerque than other relievers. His velocity is down from last year, and there isn't quite as much bite on his slider, but he does ride his confidence well, and there is still plenty of "stuff" there. He did extraordinarily well under a lot of pressure in the seventh, given how he is loathed in Oakland after kissing the baseball in Detroit. The key was not walking the first hitter after getting to three balls in the count.
- My best guess is Tigers manager Jim Leyland will go with Joaquin Benoit to start the eighth. I'm not sure it will be the right decision, though.
 - It took the A's only a dozen pitches to get the Tigers out combined in the sixth and seventh innings. That's just too easy. If the Tigers do manage to win this series, it won't be because their flaws haven't been on display. They have been.
- It's amazing how poorly major league base runners are in some situations. Oakland shortstop Stephen Drew is supposed to be a sound, fundamental player, but that was huge mental mistake trying to stretch a double into a triple with no one out in the sixth. Base runners have been at such a premium in this series. But you see that type of base running repeatedly in the major leagues, and honestly, I just don't get it.
- The A's have been all or nothing defensively in this series. They've certainly have their share of miscues, but also truly great plays. None has been better, though, than third baseman Josh Donaldson's on Jhonny Peralta in the seventh inning.


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