On Tuesday night Jim Leyland said the A’s played a perfect game in the 2-0 Oakland Game 3 win.
I’d submit that the Tigers returned the favor Thursday night in a game the was perhaps the most emphatic decisive game we’ve seen since Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS.
I wasn’t sure what version of Justin Verlander we’d see in Game 5. Ends up we saw the model we hoped for: all business, dominant, explosive. A complete-game, four-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts to boot.
How about Omar Infante with a two-for-three night and two runs scored — plus a stolen base. (!)
And Austin Jackson: two hits, two runs batted in and a pair of runs scored.
And wait, there’s more: Delmon Young showed up and drove in a run.
But the story of the night was Verlander. He threw 122 pitches, 88 for strikes and saw his ALDS ERA plummet to 0.56.
So now we wait for the winner of the Orioles and Yankees series.
I’m going to savor this win for a day or so. Then I’ll worry about the ALCS.
And if the Yankees and Orioles caught even a glimpse of the Tigers game, they’re no doubt worried about the prospect of facing Justin Verlander in the next week.