Taking a 2-1 lead in their ALDS series, the Oakland A’s find out they can actually hit for power as well, out-slugging the Detroit Tigers who were beaten by a big hitting performance that had Josh Reddick, Brandon Moss and Seth Smith all hit home runs of Anibal Sanchez.
It wasn’t a too horrific day for Sanchez up to that point, but that terrible fifth inning saw him eventually give up 8 hits and six runs, as the Tigers are now one loss away from being eliminated after losing 6-3.
This was something completely new from the A’s offense which we didn’t see in the first two games. They scored twice as much as both games combined, getting 10 hits in game 3 compared with 11 in games 1 & 2 combined and had 6 extra base hits compared to only 3 in the first two.
Besides the home runs, a first for each of the players in this postseason, it was a strong performance from Coco Crisp, finishing with 3-of-4. Jed Lowrie and Eric Sogard continue to be awful, not getting a single hit in the series so far, but the A’s are managing to do a good enough job on the mound, curbing the Tigers’ enthusiasm.
Jarrod Parker did give up 3 hits, all of them turning into runs, but overall the Tigers’ bats stayed pretty quiet, limited to 7-of-32, including Austin Jackson, Alex Avila and Jose Iglesias going 0-3. Overall in the series the Tigers haven’t been hitting well, as only one player form the lineup that started against the A’s, Omar Infante, is hitting .300 or above in this series.
Most of the attention after the game was pointed at Jim Leyland, Detroit’s manager, and his decision to keep Sanchez pitching even when Seth Smith was coming up to bat.
Sometimes he starts out a little slow, you figure he’s going to get it going. Today he just really didn’t get it going. He made a couple of real bad pitches the last inning he was out there to Moss and Smith.
The Tigers don’t have much of a bullpen, and Sanchez did have a very strong regular season, but it didn’t look like his early innings were any indication that he was able to get out of the jam he was in. There was a lefty, Jose Alvarez, warming in the bullpen. Smith is only .235 against left handed pitchers this season, so it seemed like a good decision Leyland passed on. Instead, Sanchez put himself in a 3-1 hole an delivered a terrible pitch with Cespedes at first base for Smith to crush.