So, let's talk about the games shall we?
Game 3: Athletics-2 Tigers-0
This was kind of disheartening to watch. No one wants to be shut out in the post-season, especially when it the series win was just dangling there for the taking like a carrot on a stick. It felt especially disheartening for us Tigers fans because we've only been shut out twice this season, which is the lowest shutout rate in the majors. There were a few positives about this game though, despite the fact that we lost.
Game 4: Athletics-4 Tigers-3
Our reaction to game four was to reach for the nearest cyanide packet. To come so close to making it to the ALCS was particularly disheartening, especially considering the impressive efforts of Max Scherzer, Alex Avila, and Avisail Garcia. We were winning 3-0 for Christ's sake! We had the sparkling wine out and ready! But then it all went to hell when Valverde came on the mound. To be fair to Jim Leyland, there really wasn't another choice. Valverde was 19-20 during regular season save opportunities, so who are you going to put on the mound during the division series in a save situation? Your closer? Or Kid F**king Rick who's never pitched in a save situation in his life? Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit were available too, but we'd be calling for Leyland's head regardless of who pitched that terrible ninth and lost it for us. We don't want to talk about it anymore. It was a dark time for us all.
Game 5: Tigers-6 Athletics-0
This was one of the best games we as Tigers fans have ever had the pleasure to watch. Justin Verlander proved for the 120380523568th time why he is the ace of our pitching staff, pitching a complete game shut out with eleven (count 'em, eleven) strikeouts. JV said after that it was the game he was most proud of as a pitcher, including his no-hitters, and we can see why. Watching those A's swing and miss at his filthy pitches was absolutely joyful. In the third game, our hitting failed us, and in the fourth game our pitching failed us, but Game 5 showed Tigers fans just exactly what can happen when all of the Tigers are on. The A's were a great opponent, but when Justin Verlander pitches like that, nobody stands much of a chance. Our hitting manufactured plenty of runs for Justin to play with, but in the end, all he needed was one. Sorry to play the spoiler, A's, but the Tigers are heading to the ALCS!
So. Tomorrow the Tigers take on the Yankees at Yankee Stadium in what will likely be an epic rematch of last years dramatic ALDS. The Yankees are definitely looking for blood, but for some reason, we're pretty happy here at April in the D that it's the Yankees and not the O's. It'll make reaching the World Series that much sweeter. Perhaps we do have the worst record out of any team that made the post-season, but at this point, the regular season is in the past. What matters now is the tools we have, and the Tigers have threats in excess. Doug, Max, Ani, and Justin each showed just what exactly they can do on the mound, and we have faith that the Tigers offense will come through when it counts.
TO THE ALCS WE GO! (Congrats to those of you who have tickets to the games. Get loud and show everyone just what exactly the D is made of!)