By: Malaika Bobino
Oakland, CA - At home is where they finished the season undefeated! Tonight’s sellout crowd, energy and intensity of the fans brought the spark that was lacked on the road. If there was one team that could come back from being down 0-2 its the Oakland A’s.
The A’s shutout the Detroit Tigers 2-0 and stayed alive in the American League Division Series. With a stellar defense to back Brett Anderson, the Oakland had nothing to lose.
“We always feel good when he takes the mound,” manager Bob Melvin said. “We monitored him closely as far as his bullpen [sessions] went. He goes very hard after his bullpen, so we felt confident that he was simulating that enough to go out there and pitch accordingly in a game. I don’t know how you could expect more than we got out of him tonight.”
Coming off a “Tommy John” surgery that questioned his return to the mound, Anderson pitched a stellar game. He went six innings allowing only two hits, two walks, and six struck out six. The defense that backed him will surely make the highlights on ESPN.
Prince Fielder got robbed twice by Coco Crisp who did a leaping catch over the wall that would’ve been a home run in the second frame. That was the second time Crisp made a catch like that this year.
Then Yoenis Cespedes made a diving catch in the left field to prevent Fielder from a possible double. Two crucial plays made a difference in the ball game. The A’s offense picked up where they left off during the regular season.
“It was unbelievable,” said Brett. Coco robbed the homer and kind of set the tone, and we scored a run early and kind of eased me into the game a little bit. You can’t say enough about the defense.”
In the first inning, Cespedes hit a RBI single to score the first run. But it was Crisp who set the tone when he leadoff the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second on a walk to Stephen Drew.
“I think I came out here today to throw my best game, like I always do,” Anibal Sanchez said. “Today we have to give credit to their pitchers. They worked good and they threw a good ballgame today.
Oakland extended their lead in the fifth when Seth Smith hit a solo home run. Sanchez night ended shortly after that on the mound. He went 6 1/3 innings, allowing five hits, two runs, two walks, three strike outs and one home run.
To cap off the win, the A’s bullpen left little room for error. Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook and Grant Balfour all combined for three shutout innings. Making up for Sunday’s loss in Detroit that would’ve tied the series.
“Their bullpen is really nasty,” said manager Jim Leyland. “Cook, Doolittle, Balfour, they’re really good. And their starter tonight gave them what they needed. It set up perfect for them tonight. They took advantage of that and they earned it.”