ALDS Game 4: Key Matchups

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ALDS Game 4: Key Matchups

OAKLAND -- The Oakland Athletics are still playing with their backs against the wall. A Game Four win keeps their season alive and puts the pressure on Detroit to close it out in a must-win Game Five in front of a sell-out Oakland crowd. Facing elimination, the A's are sticking with their one game at a time approach. Oakland's win on Tuesday night was their first over the Detroit Tigers in the postseason since 1972. Here are the key match ups to keep an eye on in this game.
Key Match Ups:Hostile Territory: The A's and Tigers both complimented the crowd at the Oakland Coliseum after Game Three. They were crazy loud from the first pitch to the final out. The fans will need to continue to swing the momentum in the A's favor with their energy. Detroit was the only American League team to make the postseason with a losing road record. They were 38-43 away from Comerica Park this season. A's lineup bookends vs. Max Scherzer: Coco Crisp is 2 for 5 in his career against Scherzer and Cliff Pennington is the only player in the A's lineup that has taken him deep. Josh Reddick is batting fifth and he is 3 for 5 with a triple off Scherzer. Strikeouts could hurt A's: Scherzer finished second in Major League Baseball with 231 strikeouts. The A's hitters struck out an American League record 1,387 times this season. In four career starts against the A's, Scherzer has accumulated 35 punchouts. It might be in the A's best interest to swing early in the count and try to put the ball in play. Heart of the Tigers lineup vs. A.J. Griffin: The A's have held Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to a combined .185 (5 for 27) average in this series. The Tigers' 3-4 hitters have been good against Griffin. Griffin's only loss this season came against the Tigers. In that game in Detroit on September 18, both Cabrera and Fielder hit homers off Griffin, and they each drove in two runs off him. Reaching for the Stars: Cabrera singled on Wednesday night and has reached base safely in all 14 of his career postseason games. Stephen Drew walked twice and has reached safely in all 10 of his playoff games. Quality work: Every starting pitcher in this series for both Detroit and Oakland have registered a quality start.

A's lineup: Alonso out vs Marlins after getting hit on wrist

A's lineup: Alonso out vs Marlins after getting hit on wrist

A day after getting hit by a pitch on his wrist, Yonder Alonso is not in the lineup as the A's get set to take on the Marlins Wednesday.

Miami Marlins:
1. Dee Gordon (L) 2B
2. Giancarlo Stanton (R) DH
3. Marcell Ozuna (R) CF
4. Justin Bour (L) 1B
5. J.T. Realmuto (R) C
6. Derek Dietrich (L) 3B
7. Tyler Moore (R) LF
8. J.T. Riddle (L) SS
9. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
Edinson Volquez -- RHP

Oakland A's:
1. Rajai Davis (R) CF
2. Matt Joyce (L) RF
3. Jed Lowrie (S) 2B
4. Khris Davis (R) DH
5. Ryon Healy (R) 1B
6. Trevor Plouffe (R) 3B
7. Chad Pinder (R) LF
8. Josh Phegley (R) C
9. Adam Rosales (R) SS
Sonny Gray -- RHP

 

Injuries to Hahn, Alonso compound A's loss to Marlins

Injuries to Hahn, Alonso compound A's loss to Marlins

OAKLAND — Their pitching staff got banged up throughout the night, but the A’s hope the only lasting damage they absorbed Tuesday night was on the scoreboard.

In the process of an 11-9 defeat to the Miami Marlins, they lost starting pitcher Jesse Hahn to a strained triceps and first baseman Yonder Alonso to a contusion on his right hand and wrist.

The early diagnosis showed they may have dodged a bullet with Alonso — X-rays came back negative for a fracture after he was hit flush in the wrist area on a pitch from lefty Jarlin Garcia. Alonso initially walked off the field after being hit, but after a few moments re-emerged and took first base to run. He was replaced on defense in the seventh.

“I’ve had some history with my hand,” Alonso said afterward. “I broke it three or four years ago. At the time when I got hit, I felt like that was the case all over again. The pain started going away, that’s when I realized I think I’m OK.”

Alonso’s wrist and hand began to swell while he was running the bases, and he had to exit the game. The first baseman had missed the four previous games with a sore left knee, then proceeded to homer in his first at-bat Tuesday, pulling him back into a tie with Khris Davis for the team homer lead at 13. Suffering another injury in the same game could be classified as rotten timing, but Alonso came away feeling fortunate all things considered.

“I think we got very lucky,” he said. “It got me right on the wrist but a little bit on the hand as well. We’re lucky that there’s no break. You just gotta move forward.”

Manager Bob Melvin said Alonso would be a game-time decision for whether he’ll start Wednesday afternoon’s series finale, but with the A’s off Thursday, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they rested Alonso in an attempt to let him heal up for Friday’s road trip opener against the Yankees.

Hahn’s condition seems more ambiguous, and perhaps more troubling. He said he felt fine warming up before Tuesday’s game, but when he took the mound to warm up before the third, he experienced a drop in velocity and couldn’t figure out why.

“I experienced some tightness near my triceps and a big velocity decrease,” Hahn said. “The ball wasn’t coming out (well) at all. It was a weird feeling. I’ve dealt with elbow (problems) before. Usually for me when I have elbow pain I can feel it on my pitches, and I didn’t feel it. It was kinda weird. … It almost felt like a dead arm.”

Hahn gave up a leadoff single to Christian Yelich in the third, then was taken out of the game. Afterward, he and the training staff discussed the possibility of getting an MRI but nothing had been set in stone.

“I’m throwing the ball as hard as I can and I see 89-90 on the board,” Hahn said. “I know something’s not right. But at the same time, I’m not feeling anything. It leaves you thinking. To be in that state of mind on the mound is not good.”

Should the A’s need to fill Hahn’s rotation spot the next time through, and should they want to dip into the minor league ranks, Daniel Mengden is on the same turn with Triple-A Nashville and threw seven scoreless innings Tuesday (81 pitches). He’s on the 40-man roster. Jharel Cotton and Daniel Gossett also are coming off great outings for Nashville, though their turns in the rotation don’t line up as good with Hahn’s.