Austin Jackson doubled in Omar Infante in the third and then scored on a wild pitch as the Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the A’s in the deciding Game 5 of the ALDS on Thursday.
Verlander has limited the A’s to a two-out double in the first and a two-out walk in the second through three. Brandon Moss drew the walk in the second, only to get thrown out trying to advance to second on what would have been a wild pitch.
As successful as Verlander has been, the A’s have still forced him throw 44 pitches through three, something that might pay off in time. Still, they probably can’t afford to give up any additional runs. Verlander hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his last five starts.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.