Saturday, October 06, 2012

Thoughts after 1 inning A's, Tigers Game 1 ALDS

- Austin Jackson has become an exceptional leadoff hitter. One of the reasons is that he is not hesitant to swing early in the count if he sees "get me over strikes." It was one of the reasons Lou Whitaker was such an effective leadoff hitter all those years.
- That was some of the weirdest bit of baseball strategy I can remember when the A's had the infield remaining in, as if they still were expecting a bunt from Quintin Berry with two strikes. I didn't like the idea of Berry bunting there with that defense deployed in the first place. It was a good piece of hitting by him to lay the bat on the ball and make the A's pay with two strikes. It probably would have happened earlier in the count if manager Jim Leyland let Berry swing away.
- It's about changing speeds. The first two fastballs Tigers starter Justin Verlander threw were 95 mph. He threw a third one and A's leadoff hitter Coco Crisp knocked it over the wall. Evidently the changeup he mixed in didn't have much bearing.
- It was an effective first inning for the A's against Verlander, making him work 26 pitches. If there is an edge the A's have over the Tigers, at least on paper, it's the bullpen. The Tigers aren't set up well for sixth inning relief work. They should be in better shape for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.


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