Oakland, CA —
The Oakland Athletics loaded the bases in the 9th inning and Stephen Vogt hit a walk off single to score Yoenis Cespedes to even up their American League Division Series with the Tigers, 1-0.
It was a pitching duel from the get go, with Sonny Gray and Justin Verlander becoming the first pair of starting pitchers to each throw 9+ strikeouts and not allow an earned run in postseason history. Verlander finished with 11 strike outs 7 innings of work, while Gray struck out 9 Tigers.
What will be most talked about from this game will be the Tigers inability to score runs. The offense has been cold as cold can be since the last couple weeks of September. Jim Leyland has to start wondering what the combination needs to be to get him some run support for his starting pitchers. The Tigers have been silenced in 35 of the last 36 innings played, dating back to the last series in Miami.
Don Kelly led the Tigers with two hits, while Cabrera and Iglesias were the only other players to record a hit.
With one of the highest payrolls in the game of baseball, including power hitters like Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder and veteran leaders like Victor Martinez and Torii Hunter, something needs to happen before the Tigers lose control of this series. It’s only 1 game, and yes, the series is tied. But tonight felt like that final Sunday of the season, where nobody could come close to getting a hit or scoring a run. This time, the game means something.
The Tigers will head back home for Games 3 & 4, and will need a loud Comerica Park to help heat up their missing offense.