A.J. Griffin looked far from a rookie for most of his outing. Whenever he got into jams, he was able to aggressively pitch his way out of them.
Griffin gave up seven hits, two earned runs and only totaled one strikeout. All in all, he did a successful job at giving his team a chance to win.
The Oakland bullpen, which has been one of the most dominant this season, also managed to do its part in keeping the entire game close until the end.
Oakland's bullpen, which consisted of appearances by Jerry Blevins, Sean Doolittle and Ryan Cook, pitched a total of four innings. During that stretch, they gave up only three hits and one earned run. They did a great job giving their team a chance to win.
Questions swirled around whether Max Scherzer would be able to pitch effectively after his shoulder injury weeks ago. He answered those questions and then some, this evening with a fine performance.
Scherzer went 5.1 innings while only giving up one unearned run and accumulating an impressive eight strikeouts. However, it was evident near the bottom of the fourth that he was starting to fatigue, as his fastball went from an expeditious 96 mph to a lower 90-91 mph.
In short, Scherzer pitched a gem and put his team in a fantastic position.
Detroit's bullpen appeared in the fifth inning and did an admirable job the rest of the way. While many media pundits, as well as fans, have deemed this bullpen as the Tigers' Achilles' heel, it managed to hold Oakland's offense at bay for most of the game.
The Tigers had appearances from five relief pitchers, including Octavio Dotel, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde.
Everything was going great until Jose Valverde toed the rubber. He gave up a total of three earned runs on four hits and gave Oakland a huge chance at stealing this series away in Game 5.