OAKLAND -- At least two American League clubs were absolutely thrilled with Jayson Werth's game-winning home run for the Nationals on Thursday. But don't get any ideas -- the Athletics and Tigers are not necessarily anti-Cardinals.
But because of logistical issues, they definitely are pro-early-start-time for the Yankees and Orioles if that series is pushed to Game 5 Friday.
The issue is, there is no travel day between that game and the start of the AL Championship Series on Saturday.
So whichever club emerges from Game 5 tonight in Oakland will spend Friday in a holding pattern (unless the Yankees polish off the Orioles tonight).
The key from the perspectives of Oakland and Detroit is, with the Nationals and Cardinals now headed for Game 5, the Yankees and Orioles would play at 5 p.m. in the Bronx on Friday instead of 8.
The earlier start for a potential O's-Yankees Game 5 brought an immediate smile to the face of Mickey Morabito, Oakland's long-time traveling secretary. Because if the A's beat the Tigers in Game 5 Thursday night, their current plan is to gather at the Oakland Coliseum to watch Friday's New York-Baltimore game.
If the Orioles win, the A's would get to stay home and host Baltimore in Game 1 of the ALCS on Saturday.
If the Yankees win, the A's would be packed, and they would depart for a charter flight to New York from the Coliseum immediately after Friday's game.
As for the Tigers, they are planning to head east late Thursday following Game 5 here.
Their plan: A loss in Oakland, of course, would sent the Tigers home to Detroit. A win, coupled with a Yankees' Game 4 win Thursday, would sent Detroit to New York overnight Thursday for Game 1 of the ALCS Saturday.
And if the Orioles were to win Game 4 to force Game 5 on Friday? The Tigers, if they defeat Oakland, will fly home to Detroit, and then be on call Friday. The ALCS could open in Detroit on Saturday if the Orioles beat the Yankees, or the Tigers would have to fly to New York late Friday if the Yankees beat the O's in Game 5.
Yes, it is a schedule only the airlines could love.