(OAKLAND) -- Here we go again.
It's Game Five of the American League Division Series at the O.co Coliseum, between the big-payroll Detroit Tigers and the small-payroll Oakland Athletics, with the visitors sending their All-World starting pitcher to the mound against the home team's rookie starter.
If so, it's because we were here, just last season. The only thing really different this time around is the identity of the A's rookie starter taking the ball for the biggest game of his life.
In 2012, it was Jarrod Parker, and he pitched pretty well for six innings before the game got away from the whole team. In 2013, tonight, it'll be Sonny Gray, and only time will tell if the outcome is different -- and better -- for the Oakland organization.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you know this is the A's sixth attempt at winning a Game Five in the ALDS since 2000. They're 0-for-5 in these games, including four losses at home, in the friendly confines of the loud, raucous Coliseum.
Justin Verlander dealt Oakland its most recent Game Five defeat, last year, against Parker, and in Game Two at the Coliseum, the Tigers righty continued his dominance of the A's with seven shutout innings.
But Gray dealt eight scoreless frames himself in Game Two, and Oakland eventually won the game in the bottom of the ninth inning.
That kind of result tonight would be fine with the A's and their fans -- expected to be close to 50,000 tonight at the O.co Coliseum, standing-room only.
No matter the outcome, the Oakland organization has complete confidence in Gray tonight.
"He's a little bit of a bulldog," A's Manager Bob Melvin told the Associated Press. "He's scared of nothing. When he came up, we were into the season and a pennant race already, and we threw him right into the fire, and right away he pitched very well with a lot of confidence and always has that mound presence."
Oakland also is confident of its ability to get to Verlander tonight, despite the Game Two results: the A's scored off him well in Detroit in late August, and then there's always the strange reality of Game One of the World Series last year, when a team of lesser offensive firepower than this Oakland team stuck it to Verlander hard.
In fact, Detroit has won only once in Verlander's last 11 starts, dating back to early August and including Game Two of the ALDS this year.
Maybe David can slay Goliath this time around then.