In an eerily similar situation as last year, Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers shut down the Oakland Athletics in Game 5 of the ALDS by the score of 3-0, eliminating the A’s from the playoffs. Verlander pitched eight strong innings, allowing two hits, one walk and no runs.
He had a perfect game through 5.1 innings until a walk to Josh Reddick, and had a no-hitter until Yoenis Cespedes singled in the seventh inning.
The key hit in the game was Miguel Cabrera’s two-run homer in the fourth inning after Torii Hunter walked with one out. Cabrera was batting just .250 in the series coming into tonight and has not looked like himself at the plate in recent weeks, but found a way to make an impact.
Gray’s performance wasn’t close to his masterpiece in Game 2, but managed to keep the A’s close, allowing three runs on six hits and four walks. He was sharp early, not allowing a hit through the first three innings, but the Tigers got to him the second time around. Gray departed after allowing back-to-back singles to begin the sixth inning. One of those runs crossed the plate later in the frame against Dan Otero, who relieved Gray.
Offensively, the A’s were simply unable to muster up any offense whatsoever against Verlander. Cespedes reached in the seventh and Josh Reddick lined a single up the middle in the eighth, but both hits came with two outs and the next batter struck out to end any semblance of a threat.
There was some drama in the bottom of the ninth, as the A’s got the tying run to the plate with two-out, but Seth Smith flew out to right field to conclude matters.
And thus we bid adieu to the A’s 2013 season. It was undoubtedly a good one — another AL West title — but ultimately unfulfilling. For a team with increased expectations and a terrific chance to advance past the first round of the postseason, the A’s suffered the exact same death as a year ago.