ALDS Game 1 Non Sequiturs
The Daily Fungo, Mike McClary
Mike also reminds us Saturday was the 3 year anniversary of game 163. Damn it, I had blocked it from memory! Where's that rusty spoon I used for the last self-lobotomy?
Coming into Game 1 my fear was Verlander would be the amped-up version we’ve seen in other postseason (and All-Star Game) outings. Despite a high pitch count in the early frames, this certainly looked like his best playoff performance.
Tigers Take Game One from Athletics
Tiger Tales, Lee Panas
If Lee is happy with the Tigers' performance, I'm happy.
The other thing the Tigers need this post-season is to not throw games away defensively. They didn't do anything spectacular today, but didn't make any errors either. It was a nice clean game which pleased me as much as anything.
Tigers, Justin Verlander get done what they needed to do in ALDS opener vs. A's
Detroit Free Press, Jeff Seidel
Never poke Verlander with a stick. It makes him angry. You wouldn't like Verlander when he's angry.
Even though Verlander gave up a home run to open the game — Coco Crisp jacked a ball over the rightfield fence — it seemed to wake him up. Like a lion getting poked with a stick.
Justin Verlander took a major step toward erasing postseason stigma
The Oakland Press, Pat Caputo
Verlander needing to conquer his playoff "demons" is a media evergreen.
Verlander was the main factor in the game. Once he started rolling, the A’s weren’t going to reach him.
Verlander overcomes poor playoff history to dominate A's in Game 1
Sports Illustrated, Michael Rosenberg
The former Detroit Free Press columnist who knows the Tigers better than most national scribes believes Verlander will have a monster post season.
Verlander learned, just like he always does. He has learned, over time, how to be ready for the start of spring training, how to pace himself through games, and how to dial up his best fastball when he needs it. And so, with his postseason reputation on the line Saturday, Verlander looked ... exactly the same.
Tigers vs. Athletics: Is 2012 When Justin Verlander Shuts Up Big-Game Critics?
Ian Casselberry, Hardball Chroncles
BYB's former managing editor gives his quite positive take on Verlander.
Those who picked the Tigers to advance in the playoffs and perhaps win the AL pennant likely did so for one reason: Verlander. He's the kind of ace, the stud arm that can win two to three games and carry a team to success.
A’s can’t get big hit in Game 1 loss
Hardball Talk, Matthew Pouliot
The A's came crashing back to earth in Detroit after their heady run to the AL West title.
It feels like Oakland’s first defeat in a month or two. In reality, it had been nine days since they lost to the Rangers in the finale of a four-game series. They’d won six straight since to claim the AL West title.
Verlander dominates as A's now in trouble
Sweetspot, David Schoenfield
Having Verlander on tap for an ALDS game 5 or the opener of the ALCS is a team with the proverbial ace in the hole. Better than pocket 2s or Stephen Strasburg. Wait, what?
Suddenly, the A's magical season is in jeopardy. They may need to win three in a row to move on.
It wasn't easy to notice on TV with the Oakland Athletics wearing their hunter green jerseys, but the team added a memorial patch for Gehrig John Neshek, the baby boy of pitcher Pat Neshek and Stephanee Neshek. He died less than a day after being born earlier this week. Worn on the right sleeve, it's a small black circle with white letters spelling out the initials "GJN."
Athletics Strike out 14 Times En Route to 3-1 Loss in ALDS Game 1
Athletics Nation, Alex Hall
They're a very cranky group at Athletics Nation, from the belief Verlander was given too large a strike zone to Miguel Cabrera being praised far too much to their liking on the TBS broadcast. I agree. Buck Martinez should be talking up all things Coco Crisp instead.
I want everyone to take a deep breath. Go ahead, do it. Everything is going to be alright. The A's put up a disappointing performance in Game 1 of their American League Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, but it's just one game.
Elsewhere in baseball:
Cleveland Indians make it official: Terry Francona is their new manager
Cleveland Plain Dealer, Paul Hoynes
The Jim Leyland hate brigade will have to look elsewhere for his replacement. I'm guessing it will be at someone off the 1984 team. You know, because it worked so well before.
The Indians have picked Terry Francona to be their new manager and have signed him to a four-year guaranteed contract.
The team will make a formal announcement Monday at Progressive Field, but in a statement said it will have no further comment until then because MLB protocol requires teams to keep a low profile during postseason play.
Indians hoping Francona can deliver familiar magic
Hit and Run, Jay Jaffe
Hiring Francona won't make a bit of difference until the Indians start listening to Chris Perez. That, or actually paying their players.
Francona will have a new challenge in terms of the market size he works in and the financial resources his front office has at its disposal, but the root challenge will be the same: end a long-standing World Series drought.
And for a franchise that could use an injection of a proven winner after two late-season slides, Francona is the best option on the market.
STL-ATL Infield Fly (NL Wild Card): Why Call was Correct
Close Call Sports
Not sure if I'm buying the correct call thing...
Harold on the infield fly rule
MLB.com, Harold Reynolds (Video)
Well, if Harold Reynolds says it was the correct call...OUCH! I just hurt myself from rolling my eyes too hard.
Harold Reynolds talks the disputed infield fly call from the NL Wild Card game and shows it is common in baseball games.
The Oakland Press announces the following transaction: Effective immediately, beat writer Matthew B. Mowery will be placed on the paternity list. Drew Ellis will be called up to fill Mowery's spot on the active roster, until the birth of his child.
For those of you who were wondering where Kurt was last night, he was busy editing and writing articles like the following for the SB Nation mothership:
FAN OF THE WEEK 2: Shirtless N.C. State Fan
SB Nation, Kurt Mensching
There's one in every crowd, and this N.C. State Fan could not allow his excitement to be kept under the wraps of some bland white T-shirt.