Thank you, Justin Verlander, for making it quick and somewhat painless.
There was no heartbreaking moment at the end of this one. This was not a one-run game with a gut-wrenching foul popout with a runner on second or a called third strike with the bases loaded. This was just Verlander pitching like what he is – the best pitcher in baseball.
Oh, there was a little hope that the A’s could keep the magic going a little bit longer. But that quickly went away as soon as Jarrod Parker gave up a couple of runs in the third inning. Verlander was already dealing, more than he had in Game 1. And when the Tigers plated four more runs in the 7th, I had the rest of the game to accept it and let it sink in. So the final out – Seth Smith’s groundout to second base – did not crush me.
So the best pitcher in baseball threw a complete game shutout and the A’s 2012 season is over. Maybe things will change as memories of details fade over time, but for now this was my favorite Oakland A’s season ever. From the offseason trades to the Cespedes signing, from the Japan opener to the discovery of Reddick’s cannon arm, from the losing streak in June to the hot streak of July, from the four-game sweep of the Yankees in July to the crushing extra inning loss in New York in September, and from the clinching of playoffs that eliminated the Angels to the improbable clinching of the A.L. West – I won’t ever forget this. Baseball will break your heart but this season just made me feel lucky to have it in my life.