In a crazy game MLB didn't really want you to see, Tigers take 2-0 series lead over A's
In a crazy game Baseball buried in a tough time slot and on its own hard-to-find network, the Tigers beat the A's 5-4 in Game 2 of the American League Division Series. The Tigers are now up two games to none, so the A's go home to Oakland knowing their fun season would end with just one more loss.
DETROIT -- This was the game Major League Baseball didn't want you to see.
They played it as early as possible, a 9 a.m. Sunday start for fans of the visiting A's. They put it on MLB Network, which many people either can't find or can't get at all.
It wasn't always pretty, but Game 2 of this American League Division Series sure was entertaining. It sure didn't lack for storylines.
In the end, Don Kelly won it for the Tigers with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly, giving the Tigers a 5-4 win and a two games to none lead in a series that now heads to Oakland for the next one, two or three games. The A's, four days after celebrating their improbable division title-clinching win over the Rangers, are now one loss away from seeing their own season end.
They lost Sunday because their normally reliable bullpen struggled, after the often-unreliable Tigers bullpen had done the same. The two teams combined to score in five of the final six half-innings, after starters Doug Fister and Tommy Milone both pitched very well.
Fister deserved to get the win, but neither he nor the Tigers will complain.
We won't, either, because all that happened Sunday left us with plenty to discuss -- at least for those of us who saw it.
We had Josh Reddick striking out three times, throwing his bat twice in anger, and then hitting the home run that should have won the game. We had Joaquin Benoit, giving up that home run and proving again that while their rotation and the middle of the lineup may make the Tigers the most dangerous team in the playoffs, the middle of their bullpen is only a danger to their own chances.
We had two game-tying wild pitches, one by Benoit and the other by Oakland's Ryan Cook.
We had Miguel Cabrera putting the Tigers ahead not by hitting the ball too hard, but by hitting it too soft. Coco Crisp, playing as deep as possible in center field, raced in and eventually dropped Cabrera's fly ball, allowing two runs to score.
Oh, and we also had Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque getting out of a ninth-inning jam on a one-hopper back to the mound -- and kissing the ball before he threw it to first.
We had the A's take the lead in the top of the seventh, then give it back in the bottom of the inning. We had the A's take the lead in the eighth, and then give it back again.
Watch the highlights when you get a chance.
Too bad Baseball didn't want you to see it live.
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