Brandon Moss almost hit a game-tying home run in Game 1. Coco Crisp almost beat the throw to the plate in Game 2. He also almost caught that shallow popup. And Cliff Pennington almost hit a game-tying home run in the 9th.
The A’s made their return to the playoffs in the same place they left it in 2006 – at Comerica Park in Detroit. And they picked up where they left off, dropping the first two games of the ALDS to the Tigers. In their last six postseason games, the A’s are 0-6, all against the Tigers.
It wasn’t because of the rookies starters. Well, not totally. Jarrod Parker and Tommy Milone both pitched extremely well in their postseason debuts, but Parker’s flub of a dribbler up the line in Game 1 cost the A’s a run. Tommy Milone worked a great six innings in Game 2 and gave the A’s a great chance to win.
But, it was not to be. There were just too many almosts. Oh, and there was that guy Justin Verlander in Game 1. Coco Crisp led off the game with a homer against him, but otherwise the top strikeout pitcher in baseball mowed down the worst strikeout team in baseball for seven innings. The A’s couldn’t capitalize on getting him out of the game either, though Brandon Moss almost hit a tying home run in the 8th. Almost.
In Game 2, big almosts involving Coco Crisp loomed large. First, there was Coco getting thrown out at the plate, trying to score on Brandon Moss’s single to right. I have no problem with Mike Gallego sending Coco to the plate on that play. It took a perfect throw by Avisail Garcia and a perfect tag by Gerald Laird to get him at the plate. Coco almost scored. Almost!
Then there came the shallow fly ball off the bat of Miguel Cabrera in the 7th. There were two outs and two runners on. Coco charged in, and he almost had it. Almost! It tipped off his glove twice and then dropped to the ground. A’s fans everywhere – myself included – screamed, “Noooooooooooooo!” as two Detroit Tigers scored to take the lead.
And to add insult to injury, the A’s took the lead again the following inning, only to blow it again. Talk about a wild roller coaster ride that ends with a punch to the gut.
This is what we wanted though, right? Postseason baseball! Oh, but it hurts so much more the further into October you go. Go A’s…