Game 3: The Oakland Athletics Are Still the Oakland Athletics

What, you thought they were going to make it easy on themselves?

It’s not even like they’re really in this thing. As convincing a win as Tuesday night’s 2-0 shutdown of one of the Majors’ best offences – and its greatest hitter – was, Oakland still trails Detroit, 2-1, in their best of five series. Regardless of how many times Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder go down in the count early, the fact remains… they’re still Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder.

For the Oakland A’s to survive, it has to be an uphill battle. It has to be tough. They can’t win with blowouts. They need to claw and scratch and dig.

The Tiger will be the Tigers, too. Regardless of their record, they are the deserved favourite in this series, because they have more potential than Oakland does. Luckily for Oakland, Verlander has already pitched.

Would Coco Crisp have really robbed Prince Fielder of that second inning home run if he hadn’t botched that pop fly in Game 2? It’s doubtful. He also had a good day at the plate, FYI.

If Oakland can even this thing up, then it’s anybody’s series. They’re the only team in the Majors capable of truly playing this thing one-game-at-a-time, because they’ve been playing that way for 20 years.

Somehow, every player that enters this organization is sucked into the franchise’s mantra of All For One, and One For All. Somehow, they make us all feel like they’re the good guys, and the evil teams with the deep pockets and the bankrolls are the opposite. They’re the cowboy who only wears black and introduces himself to bars by the sounds of his spurs.

Unfortunately for Oakland, they fell behind in a flash, and they’re still very much in trouble.

The Tigers also have Jim Leyland who, after Game 2, showed us exactly why he might be the best manager in baseball.

“Everybody always says I’m from the old school, so I’d have probably hugged it first,” he said, diffusing the tension formed from Al Albuquerque’s now-infamous ball kiss on the final out on Sunday night. “I don’t think it was the right thing to do. I will sit here today and I will not try to defend it. I will say that I can assure everybody, including the Oakland A’s, Al Albuquerque did nothing intentionally to offend the Oakland A’s.”

And then, just in case you thought he was getting ahead of himself or his Tigers, Leyland unveiled the ol’ Bill Belichick I’m so humble move. It’s classic way to toss your opponents in a tizzy, and it keeps them on the mat where they currently are.

“We’re going to have to do better than that if we want to close this thing out at some point, whether it be tonight, tomorrow, or the next day… If we’re going to close it out, we’re going to have to hit better, to be honest with you.

“This A’s team is ready to play tonight… They’re down two games to none, but they’re ready to play; their mindset is good.”

What a stud. He also said A’s manager Bob Melvin should win the AL Manager of the Year award, shared with Buck Showalter. You have to imagine that one’s insurance, just in case Oakland meets Baltimore in the ALCS.

Oh, Oakland. You thought you were home free. Turns out the Tigers are virtuous, too.