OAKLAND - It's come down to a do-or-die situation for the Tigers in their ALDS matchup with the Oakland A's as Jose Valverde blew a ninth-inning lead in a 4-3 Detroit loss.
Max Scherzer started on the mound for the Tigers, and gave the Tigers a stellar performance, pitching 5 1/3 innings, striking out 8 batters.
Brad Galli is in Oakland and was blogging throughout Game 4. Here's what he saw during the game.
FOLLOW ALONG WITH BRAD'S GAME BLOG BELOW.
1:00 a.m. An absolute meltdown from Valverde on the mound tonight. Wondering why they didn't walk Crisp to put men on first and second and avoid pitching to him in that situation. Tigers lose this one 4-3 and will send Justin Verlander to the mound tomorrow night in the decisive Game 5.
12:55 a.m. After holding the lead all night, Jose Valverde gave up a two-run double to Seth Smith in the bottom of the ninth and the Tigers and A's are tied 3-3.
12:46 a.m. It comes down to Jose Valverde and the last three outs.
12:16 a.m. Avisail Garcia comes up in the clutch. The rookie provides a pinch-hit RBI single and the Tigers have a two-run lead once again. 3-1 in the 8th.
11:55 p.m. Octavio Dotel and Phil Coke finish the sixth inning after Scherzer is pulled. No further damage. You can't complain about the Tigers starting pitching too much this series. Verlander, Sanchez, and Scherzer have all been brilliant.
11:39 p.m. Mistakes prove costly. Fielder's error and Scherzer's wild pitch lead to a Stephen Drew RBI double to get the A's on the board. Tigers up 2-1.
11:28 p.m. Rain is coming down in Oakland, but Max Scherzer has not been affected by anything tonight. Eight strikeouts in five strong innings of work thus far from Scherzer.
10:54 p.m. There are whistles, drums, and horns in the stands. Each time the bat struck the ball in the bottom of the fourth, they sounded loudly. Each time the ball hit a glove, the sound ceased. Scherzer cruised through the inning in five pitches. Man. Mission.
10:49 p.m. Two runners on with no outs and the Tigers can't add to the lead. A fourth inning that started with a band ended with a loud thud.
10:38 p.m. Well that's one way to break out of a playoff hitting slump. Prince Fielder hit a solo home run to put the Tigers ahead 2-0, and give the first baseman a much-needed big hit.
10:21 p.m. You could hear a pin drop at the same time Austin Jackson's single hit the outfield grass. Tigers take a 1-0 lead.
10:04 p.m. Prince Fielder's struggles continue. After flying out to left field, it took the first baseman a long time to walk off the field. He was muttering to himself. Two balls in Game 3 would have been game-changing hits if they would have dropped. He was 1-for-12 coming into tonight's game.
9:56 p.m. One way to fight off the "rowdy" environment Max Scherzer talked about after Game 3? Do what Max Scherzer does best: strike people out. Sits down two of the the four batters he faced in the first inning, sucking life out of the Coliseum.
9:45 p.m. Quintin Berry didn't get on base, but his at-bat was exactly what the Tigers offense was missing last night. Fought through an at-bat and raised Griffin's pitch count immediately.
9:37 p.m. Max Scherzer said the environment during Game 3 was like none he'd ever seen. It's early in this one, but the crowd is already packing the seats again. It's a sea of rowdy, yellow towels.
9:07 p.m. Athletics starting pitcher A.J. Griffin lost only one game during the regular season. It came against the Tigers Sep. 18. Griffin gave up five runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Tigers in that game.
8:54 p.m. The Tigers lineup is a return to the Game 1 lineup Jim Leyland used. Quintin Berry and Alex Avila return to the batting order against right handed rookie pitcher A.J. Griffin. 1. Austin Jackson, CF. 2. Quintin Berry, LF. 3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B. 4. Prince Fielder, 1B. 5. Delmon Young, DH. 6. Andy Dirks, RF. 7. Jhonny Peralta, SS. 8. Alex Avila, C. 9. Omar Infante, 2B. Max Scherzer is the starting pitcher.
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