Today’s first game starts at 6:00PM Eastern with the no-name Oakland As playing the star-laden Detroit Tigers. Wait a minute, you say. Isn’t that unfair to the As? Well, the only nationally-recognized player in their starting lineup is Coco Crisp, and I’d argue that while he’s an excellent player a lot of casual fans might know him more for his cereal-like name than for his talent. The Tigers, on the other hand, have the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years in Miguel (not Melky!) Cabrera; they have baseball’s answer to The Round Mound of Rebound Prince Fielder, and they have today’s starting pitcher and former Cy Young/MVP winner Justin Verlander. People are trying to label the As the Cinderella team in this postseason, but that devalues what they did. They were 13 games back and five games under .500 the last week in June and fought back to a series sweep of the Rangers last weekend.
The second game today starts at 9:30PM Eastern with the Giants playing the Reds. Nobody reading a Dodgers blog needs much background info on these teams. Here’s something I didn’t know, though:
Through the regular season, Baker stands No. 2 and Bochy No. 3 among active managers in career victories. Baker has 1,581 in 19 seasons and Bochy has 1,454 in 18, both short of Detroit manager Jim Leyland’s total of 1,676 in 21 seasons. This marks the sixth postseason appearance as a manager for both Baker and Bochy.
Pitching today: the Reds’ Cueto v. the Giants’ Cain in San Francisco.