Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod GUYS, THE A'S ARE IN THE PLAYOFFS! AND IT'S STARTING RIGHT NOW!
It's been a few days, but it hasn't really sunk in yet. The A's are in the ALDS, playing against Justin Verlander and the Tigers. This is just crazy. They're not just in the playoffs; they have home-field advantage for this first series (though not for this first game).
I discussed Verlander's postseason experience here. Summary: He hasn't been good in the playoffs, but his only appearances came as a rookie, and as a guy whose Game 1 starts got rained out in two straight series. Conclusion: Inconclusive. He might be awesome, or he might walk a few guys and give up a crucial homer to Brandon Moss. I, for one, choose to be optimistic: The A's can beat Verlander.
On the other side, Jarrod Parker gets the call for Oakland. He faced a few batters in last year's NLDS for Arizona, but we shan't speak of that. It went poorly. The number "27.00" was involved. Also, it's irrelevant, because Parker is a different guy than he was then. He's awesome now. He threw 41 innings over 6 September starts, and posted a 2.63 ERA with a 33:8 K:BB ratio. He's found his control, he's stingy with the homers, and he has clearly established himself as the ace of the staff (at least until Brett Anderson is back to 100%, and even then, he could turn out better than Brett). I, for one, welcome our new pitching overlord.
You can find Oakland's ALDS roster (and the ensuing discussion) here.
The lineup includes Stephen Drew batting 2nd (which is fine), Seth Smith playing against the righty (duh), and Josh Reddick hitting 5th (also fine). Derek Norris catches, because there is no opportunity for a platoon since all of Detroit's starters are right-handed.
|Athletics (J. Parker - R) @ Tigers (J. Verlander - R)|
Let's go Oakland!