Good morning and welcome to the ALDS, Game 3, featuring your 2013 Oakland Athletics vs. the Detroit Tigers. The A's have managed to tie the series at one on the strength of a rookie playoff performance that we haven't see the likes of...well, in a very long time. I spent the rest of the weekend thinking I sure would have enjoyed Game 2 a whole lot more had the A's been up 1-0 in the series, but looking back, if the A's can pull off this series win, I think the reason Game 2 will be such a magical, important, incredible game in A's history is that the A's were literally hanging on by a playoff thread, backs against the wall, when Gray took the mound and pitched the game of his life. It's hard to imagine a bigger start, although I can dream.
The A's aren't pitching a slouch today, as Jarrod Parker, ace-like all season, will be on the mound as they try to take the pivotal Game 3 in Detroit. However, because we're facing the Tigers, our match-ups go a little something like this: Game 1 - Slam dunk lock for the AL Cy Young, Game 2 - One of the best pitchers in baseball and an A's-killer, Game 3 - Oh, did I mention he leads the American League in ERA? Anibal Sanchez is just another ace weapon that is being thrown at the A's, another obstacle in the way as the A's fight for the right to play in the ALCS for only the second time in two decades. The A's game plan should be very much like the previous two; tire out the ace starter, don't give up any runs in the meantime, hit the bullpen. But for once, I would like to see them hit the starter. No small task, I know.
Here's hoping that Jarrod Parker plays a little game called, "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better", 'cause I tell you, I'd really like to see that. But it's not all on Parker; the A's offense has got to get something going against a Detroit starter; they can't keep this kind of pressure on their own pitching staff. I'd like to say that the A's just need to win one of the next two games to force a Game 5, and technically, that's true, but for their very best chance at advancing, they want this game. Badly.
The lineup has a slight change today, as Donaldson has been moved up to the #2 spot. Vogt will be catching against, after his Major League at-bats, and walk-off hit, Moss will be at first, Smith will be in the lineup, and Sogard will be manning second base. Let's hope it's a winner.
There were some weather concerns yesterday for this game, but all looks to be a go in Detroit right now.
Here are the full lineups for this ALDS, Game #3:
LET'S GO OAK-LAND!