Ah, the playoffs. It’s all about momentum. In this ALCS, the Tigers grabbed the first dose of it. Third inning, two outs, Barry Zito is cruising. And then he served up a home run to No. 9 hitter Brandon Inge just inside the fair pole. 1-0 Tigers.
Zito doesn’t stop the bleeding. Instead, he goes on to a 38-pitch inning. Curtis Granderson kept the pressure on with a double and Zito seemed a tad unnerved in walking Placido Polanco and Sean Casey. Mags (that’s street lingo for Magglio) reaches on an infield hit, a diving stop by Chavez — a play the Gold Glover usually makes.
The A’s tried to counter with a run of their own, string together a walk and a hit with one out in the bottom of the inning. But Guillen started a beautiful 6-4-3 double play. A pumped up Robertson pumps his first and stomps off the mound.
The first third of the game has gone to the Tigers. And then Pudge announces his return to LCS play by drilling a solo shot to right-center in the fourth. Let’s see what the A’s can do here. Zito is gone by the end of the fourth inning, down 5-nill. This is clearly not good for the home team.