A’s Fall Short in First Playoff Game vs. Detroit Despite Fans’ ’10th Man EffortThe Scrappy Oakland A’s were the underdogs in the first American League playoff Game against Detroit and Cy Young Pitcher Max Sherzer. Their own ace, 40 year old wonder Bartolo Colon was, perhaps affected more by the five day layoff after the end of the season and gave up three runs in the first inning. But, after that, the A’s were the winners, scoring the only other runs of the game in the sixth inning on Yeonis Cespedes’ two run homerun that put them only one run down. With 48,000 screaming fan exhorting the A’s on almost every pitch one almost expected A’s Magic to happen again as it has so many times during the season. But the top pitcher in the American League and Detroit’s bullpen was just a little more than the A’s could handle; perhaps the layoff and first game jitters could account for part of their weak hitting performance ( only 3 hits on the night for a team with a .295 average against Sherzer; of course, the other side had to contend with the same layoff and jitters though it might have been harder for a 40 year old pitcher and an A’s team of younger players. The second game on Saturday will truly show what the A’s have in them, if they can bounce back – but it won’t be easy with another top pitcher, Verlander , going against them.
But, this game has to go down as one of the more exciting games for the home fans, despite the loss. As a fan next to me said, the enthusiastic A’s fan base may have gotten Cespedes’ juices going to hit the big home run that brought the A’s back to within one run. But one player’s performance a game does not make – Cepedes had two of the three hits – and the A’s needed fewer strikeouts and better performances from some other players this night. Our guess is that the A’s will show definite improvement in Game 2 with the first one under their belt.