ALDS, Game 3: A’s-Tigers lineups

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Lineups for the first of four games (!) today …

Athletics:
CF Coco Crisp
3B Josh Donaldson
SS Jed Lowrie
1B Brandon Moss
LF Yoenis Cespedes
DH Seth Smith
RF Josh Reddick
C Stephen Vogt
2B Eric Sogard

SP Jarrod Parker

Oakland manager Bob Melvin is going with the same lineup he used in Game 2, except Josh Donaldson and Jed Lowrie have swapped places in the batting order. Donaldson hit second 23 times during the regular season, including frequently down the stretch, and Lowrie was actually the A’s most-used No. 3 hitter all year.

Tigers:
CF Austin Jackson
RF Torii Hunter
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Prince Fielder
DH Victor Martinez
LF Jhonny Peralta
C Alex Avila
2B Omar Infante
SS Jose Iglesias

SP Anibal Sanchez

In an effort to boost the offense Detroit manager Jim Leyland has decided to let Jhonny Peralta make his first start of the playoffs as a left fielder. Peralta was pushed out of the shortstop job during his 50-game suspension and worked out in left field to prepare for this scenario, appearing in three games as an outfielder late in September after previously never starting at a position other than shortstop or third base.

Dustin Pedroia leaves game with a sprained left wrist

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Bad news for the Red Sox today. Second baseman Dustin Pedroia was involved in a collision at first base with Jose Abreu of the White Sox. Pedroia stayed in the game at the time but was replaced by Josh Rutledge in the second.

The injury: sprained left wrist. Which, no, is not good, but there was some initial concern that he may have aggravated the knee which has been bothering him of late. They’ll no doubt provide an update after the game. As of now, the Sox lead the Sox 1-0 in the bottom of the third.

 

Brad Ausmus is not a fan of the Tigers’ schedule

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Everyone in baseball has a tough schedule. The season is a grind. Some teams, however, due to weather and happenstance, have stretches which are a tougher grind than others. The Tigers are in one of those right now.

Detroit played the Astros on Thursday night, and lost in a three-hour and thirty minute contest. It was a getaway day, er, night, and they didn’t get to Chicago to face the White Sox until the wee wee hours of the morning on Friday. Waiting for them: a double header which was to start at 4pm. The first game of it was rained out, though, so they woke up after a short “night’s sleep for nothing. Then the nightcap was delayed over an hour, giving them another late bedtime. On Saturday it was another double header, so it was another early wakeup and another long day at the park. And, of course, another day game on Sunday, before a flight to Kansas City.

This stretch has made Brad Ausmus grumpy. Here he was after Friday night’s late finish:

“Give some credit to the White Sox pitchers, give some credit to the schedule we have. We’ll try to get about 5 hours of sleep and come back tomorrow and play two more.”

He was particularly miffed at the scheduling of two doubleheaders in a row:

“You can’t control the weather but I think it would have been prudent to play the second game tomorrow in August,” he said. “That would have made a lot more sense to me.”

Ausmus did note, however, that it’s not the White Sox’ job to make a schedule that is convenient for their division rivals.

You can look at this in a few different ways. One one level, Ausmus is understandably upset about a particularly arduous stretch of games. On another level he’s probably trying to protect his players, who have looked flat, by changing the subject from their play to the schedule. On a different level, you could say that he’s making excuses for a team that is underachieving. And, of course, those three things are not mutually exclusive.

The thing is, though, that the Tigers have lost seven of ten, are five out of first place, four games under .500 and could conceivably leave their series with the Royals this week in dead last in the Central. Ultimately, extenuating circumstances like the weather and an unfortunate schedule don’t save a manager whose talented and highly-paid team struggles like the Tigers have. If they don’t turn it around soon, Ausmus could be hitting the bricks and the Tigers could be fixing to sell off and rebuild.