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Orioles 2, Tigers 1: David Price solid in Game 3 but Detroit's season ends with quiet offense

David Price was outstanding but the offense couldn't come through. The Tigers were swept out of the ALDS by the Orioles, along with their hopes of a 2014 World Series Championship.

Leon Halip

DETROIT — Favored by many before the season and into the postseason to win the World Series, 2014 was not supposed to end with the Tigers being swept out of the ALDS by the Orioles. David Price gave the Tigers exactly what they needed, but it was not enough as the Tigers offense fell quiet until it was too late. The Tigers lost 2–1 to the Orioles, ending their hopes of a 2014 World Series title on a cold night in front of a sold-out crowd at Comerica Park.

Price (L, 0–1) was locked in. Only once did he waiver, when his catcher, Alex Avila was taken out of the game after taking a foul-tip to the mask. He gave up a single and a home run that ended up being the difference in the game, the series, and the year.

Price's final line read eight innings, five hits, two runs, two walks, six strikeouts and a hit batter on 112 pitches. Price was what the Tigers needed on the mound after the events of the last two games, but the offense was unable to return the favor.

"It's disappointing. You feel like you let the fans down and you feel like you let the organization down," Ausmus said. "You feel like you let the Ilitchs' down. So it's disappointing, no question. But there is nothing we can do about it now."

The Tigers couldn't buy a hit if they tried. With the exception of a double by Alex Avila in the second — that was gifted by the ongoing adventures of Delmon Young in left field — and a single by Don Kelly in the third, the Tigers had nothing until the ninth inning. They were struck out six times, drawing just two hits with a stolen base, also by Kelly.

Back-to-back doubles by Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez got the Tigers started in the ninth inning, the latter hit plating Victor from second base. However, a season-ending double play ended it all. The Tigers had just four hits in the game, drawing two walks to go along with the stolen base. They were 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and no one batter had more than one hit.

Tigers fans watched as Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter took their final at-bats of the season in the eighth and ninth innings, and possible in a Tigers uniform for good. After the game Hunter said he has been seriously considering retirement, but would need to discuss it further before making a final decision on another year.

"It just comes down to who's playing the best baseball," Justin Verlander said. "You live and die on whether you win or not. And we didn't."

<!--  ########  START MUSTREADS SNIPPET  ########  --><link rel="stylesheet" href="http://cdn3.sbnation.com/assets/3603867/mustreads-compact-only.css"><div class="must-reads-compact-only-container"><h4><span class="must-reads-star"><img src="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3608771/star.png" /></span> ALDS Game 3 <span class="must-reads-star"><img src="http://cdn2.sbnation.com/assets/3608771/star.png" /></span></h4><div class="must-reads-compact-link-container"><a href="http://www.blessyouboys.com/2014/10/5/6916177/torii-hunter-considering-retirement--18-seasons">Torii Hunter considering retirement<span class="must-reads-compact-byline"></span></a></div></div><!--  ########  END MUSTREADS SNIPPET  ########  -->

ROARS:

David Price: Did more than his fair share, holding the Orioles within reach of the Tigers offense. He went eight strong innings of two-run ball, giving up just five hits and two walks while striking out six on 112 pitches. He took the loss but the fault was due to the inability of the Tigers to get a hit to save their season, literally.

Victor Martinez: In the ninth inning with three outs to go, Martinez gave the Tigers a chance when he hit a leadoff double, bringing a silent crowd roaring to life. He finished 1-for-4 but it was a fitting way for Martinez to finish the season, and possibly his time with the Tigers.

J.D. Martinez: Since being called up, the younger Martinez has been a gift for the Tigers and he did his best to give the Tigers another memorable moment. A double up the right field gap missed a game-tying home run by feet, instead scoring his counterpart on second base to cut the deficit to 2–1.

Don Kelly: Single-handedly tried to be the Tigers' offense, by hitting a leadoff single in the third and stealing second base. He also struck out in the fifth inning but was saved by a wild pitch and reached first base, politely, after likely thanking the pitcher.

Joe Nathan: He sure picked a dandy time to do it, but Nathan was light's out for the Tigers in the ninth inning. Nathan gave the Tigers a dominant 1-2-3 inning, striking out Nick Hundley to end the ninth and needing just 10 pitches, eight of which were strikes.

HISSES:

Tigers offense: David Price did his job. The Tigers didn't get so much as a squeak out of their offense. Through eight innings the Tigers had all of two hits, a double from Avila, and a single from Kelly. Not until the ninth inning on back-to-back doubles by the Martinez's did the Tigers show any signs of life. By then it was too late and a season-ending double play closed the book on the 2014 Tigers.

NOTES::

In the second inning Ausmus challenged the call that Romine was out at first base, ending the inning. After a 2:28 review, the call stood and Romine was out with a runner stranded at third base. Had the call been overturned Avila would have scored and the Tigers would have had an early 1–0 lead. With the luck the Tigers have had in this series, however, it was not meant to be. (MLB.com video)

In the third inning Don Kelly hit a leadoff single and stole second base soon after. A hit by Torii Hunter went straight to the Orioles shortstop and Kelly, who was too far off the second base bag, was picked off when he tried to get back to second base. However, the second baseman was in the way of Kelly (and he also bobbled the ball after catching it) and his ability to get back to the base, making it impossible for Kelly to get back to the bag. Ausmus came out, asking for the umpires to discuss whether obstruction should have been called. The umpires would not oblige and as a result, the Tigers lost a baserunner and an out, and it cost them a run, and ultimately the season.

Alex Avila left the game in the sixth inning after being struck in the mask by a foul tip, which caused him to fall back. With Avila's previous concussion issues this season, the Tigers weren't taking any chances and Avila was replaced by backup catcher, Bryan Holaday. After the game Avila confirmed he was diagnosed with a concussion.

STREAKS AND STATS:

  • Victor Martinez struck out three times in April and three times in September, but four times in nine at-bats this postseason. He struck out just 42 times in 561 at-bats during the regular season.
  • Victor Martinez extended his postseason hitting streak to eight games, tied for the second-longest in franchise history.
  • Sunday's attendance was 43,013, the 28th sellout of the year for the Tigers.

WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH:


Source: FanGraphs

ROLL CALL:

Roll Call Info
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TOP TEN COMMENTERS:

# Commenter # Comments
1 brandon.toy.54 119
2 Jeff Price 103
3 texastigerfan 100
4 Cabbylander 87
5 Joaquin on Sunshine 83
6 AurelioFan 58
7 NCDee 56
8 Ottis Franklin 54
9 john.fortney 50
10 SanDiegoMick 47



TOP RECS:

# Recs Commenter Comment Link
5 Singledigit They've had a great run
4 Ottis Franklin If Romine would have tackled him, we could have had the out
4 Singledigit Watch Holaday get the game winning rbi
3 Singledigit Please
3 NCDee So now they're just making shit up
3 Detroiter1206 Here comes Joe Nathan!
3 NCDee [no title]
3 Ottis Franklin all true so far