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Oakland A's - Home Field Advantage?

 

Oakland Athletics merchandise In what has been a crazy MLB season, the craziness has continued into the postseason. The Oakland Athletics, who finished with the second-best record in the AL behind the Yankees, are starting the ALDS on the road against a very tough Tigers squad due to a scheduling error by MLB. The scheduling error is the result of the extra wild card being added this season. In order to fit the wild card game in to the schedule, Bud Selig decided to fill that gap by cutting a travel day, and playing the division series in a 2-3 format (2 on the road, 3 at home) instead of the usual 2-2-1 format, where the higher seed starts at home.

Because of this, the A’s find themselves in a difficult position heading home, down 0-2 to the Detroit Tigers in a best of five series. Yes, the A’s have shot themselves in the foot a couple of times and those could be to blame for the two losses on the road. But being a fan of the team it’s way more fun to blame baseball for my woes. So here we go. In game one, Justin Verlander dominated the A’s after allowing a leadoff homer to Coco Crisp. Yet, with one on in the top of the eighth, Brandon Moss hit a ball to the warning track that would have tied the game. If it weren’t so cold (say, in Oakland), that ball most likely would have gone over the fence, tying the game. I’m not going to say the A’s would have definitely won the game from there, but you have to think that being tied 3-3 in the ninth is a better scenario than down 3-1.

In today’s game, the defense came up short. With the bullpen in, Coco Crisp juggled a shallow fly ball off the bat of Miguel Cabrera and allowed two runs to score, making it 4-3 at the time. As they have all season, the A’s rallied back and took a 4-3 lead in their next at-bat. Ryan Cook, who hadn’t allowed a run since September 5th, allowed the tying run to score in the 8th. This is the same bullpen that completely shut down the Rangers for three games to win the division, while at home. They said that the crowd noise at home fueled them when they were tired. It got them out of bed in the morning. But they were on the road, and playing a tough 3pm, 9am back-to back. Yes, those aren’t local times in Detroit, but those are the times their body clocks are on. Not only are the A’s not at home as the higher seed; they are made to play at absurd times because they don’t have household names.

I am not trying to take anything away from the Tigers, who are a good team with great starting pitching and some solid hitters, but they were supposed to be here. Many experts picked them to win the World Series to begin the year. Many of those same experts had the A’s finishing last. In a season that has been full of surprises, maybe the A’s can pull a rabbit and force a game 5. Brett Anderson had been their best pitcher before suffering an oblique strain in mid-September. He gets the nod in game 3, giving the A’s a good chance to get back in the series.


 

By: Jason Burke
MLBCenter.com Staff Writer
On Twitter @ToastA_sFan


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