Friday, October 13, 2006

ALCS: Tigers Up 3-0 After 3-0 Win [J. Mark English]

STL Today, Janie Mccauley -

The Big Hurt has been a big bust in the AL championship series.
Same with Nick Swisher and Marco Scutaro.
Frank Thomas and Swisher were the top home-run hitters for the Oakland Athletics this season. Against the Detroit Tigers this series, they've been awful: 0-for-17.
Thomas is 0-for-10 with five strikeouts and a walk, while Swisher is 0-for-7 with five K's and four walks. That lack of production is a key reason the A's are in a 3-0 hole and facing elimination in the best-of-seven series after Friday's 3-0 loss.
The two had a blast competing all year long to see who would finish with a better home run total, with the 38-year-old Thomas topping the second-year major leaguer by a 39-35 count. Thomas drove in 114 runs to Swisher's 95.
And then there's Scutaro, the super sub who has played more than just reliable defense at shortstop in place of the injured Bobby Crosby. The 2004 AL Rookie of the Year went on the disabled list in late August with a lower back injury.
Scutaro is 1-for-11 in the ALCS after hitting four doubles in Oakland's division series sweep of the Minnesota Twins, including two in the clincher that drove in four runs and tied an A's postseason record. He has seven game-ending hits during his three-year tenure in Oakland.
The A's never trailed in finishing off the Twins in three games. They've only led once in the ALCS, briefly during Wednesday's Game 2 in Oakland.
Whether hard-throwing Justin Verlander or crafty left-hander Kenny Rogers, the Game 3 winner -- it hasn't mattered who Oakland faced. The A's can't come up with the necessary clutch hits.
Now, the A's will have to do everything in their power not to be swept in a seven-game series for only the third time in franchise history. The 1990 team -- the last squad to win a playoff series before Oakland advanced this time after four straight first-round exits -- lost the World Series in four games to Cincinnati, while the 1914 Philadelphia A's were swept by the Boston Red Sox.
Commnet -
Whats the deal with Kenny Rogers? Is he Bob Gibson now?
So far, destiny seems to be favoring the Tigers. They are on a roll. When a team is playing this well, its best to get out of the way, or wind up looking silly. Just as the A's, and the Yankees...they've been made to look silly. The Tigers look like they belong in a higher league.