The Oakland A’s have a huge task at hand if they expect to get out of the ALDS alive; beat former Cy young award winner and three-time AL strikeout leader, Justin Verlander in Game 2 at home tonight at the O.co Coliseum.
Verlander, after having gone through a July slump when he allowed 15 runs in 4 games, regained his form with two regular season-ending, scoreless, double-digit strikeout performances.
“Justin’s stuff has never been a question, when he gets his fastball over, everything else falls into place,” Detroit catcher Alex Avila said.
For an A’s lineup that mustered 3 hits and struck out 16 times in Game 1, that can only spell trouble.
Taking the hill for the A’s will be rookie Sonny Gray who won three of five September starts allowing 9 earned runs while striking out 30.
“It was tough to string a bunch of hits together when you see stuff like Scherzer had last night.” A’s catcher Stephen Vogt said.
“We know we can play better, and we’ll be ready tonight.”
Verlander's career postseason record is 6-4, which is good news for the A’s knowing he’s beatable, the bad news though, is that he’s 3-0 in the ALDS.
And, if Verlander’s latest form holds true, they’ll have to win both games in Detroit and then win Game 5 back in Oakland on Thursday.
The A's will have to get more than Game 1 total three hits and have someone other than Yoenis Cespedes hit their way out of Oakland before they get on the plane heading for Detroit.
ALDS Game 2, 6:07 p.m. Saturday night at the O.co Coliseum.