The Oakland Athletics forced a decisive fifth game in the ALDS with a shocking three-run ninth inning Wednesday night, winning the game 4-3.
The comeback started with hits from Josh Reddick and Josh Donaldson. Seth Smith hit the game-tying double and was singled home by Coco Crisp to win the game.
Jose Valverde allowed three runs in the ninth inning. Oakland made its season off of walk-off hits and clutch play, making Wednesday night's conclusion completely fitting.
Let's recap this one with some Twitter reaction and a few player grades.
Fox Sports Detroit reporter Ryan Field had this to say following Fielder's towering shot in the fourth inning:
5th career postseason homerun for Prince. You knew it was only a matter of time before he left his mark on this series. #Tigers— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldFSD) October 11, 2012
Comcast SportsNet reporter Henry Wofford commented on Scherzer's filthy stuff:
Man, Max Scherzer is nasty tonight. So much for him not being 100% healthy. The dude looks great on the hill tonight.— Henry Wofford (@HenryWoffordCSN) October 11, 2012
Scherzer's start may have surprised some, but it shouldn't have. He's always had top-end stuff.
Associated Press reporter Jane McCauley gave us some insight into Josh Reddick's disappointing series:
McCauley (@JanieMcCAP) October 11, 2012
It's nice to break records, but not that kind. Oakland needs all the help they can get at the dish, and Reddick has been one of its best performers this season.
Cabrera has reached base safely in all 15 of his post-season games with the Tigers. #tigers— Rick Thompson (@Thompson_Tigers) October 11, 2012
New York Post reporter David K. Li points out that Stephen Drew's base-running error in the sixth inning wasn't just his fault:
Very good point, but tough to swallow nonetheless. Making the first out at third base, especially in a tight ball game, is a cardinal sin in baseball.
40/29 news anchor Josh Taylor summed up the ninth-inning comeback:
Doubles start and sustain rallies. May I present to you to the 9th inning Oakland Athletics. Unbelievable.— Josh Taylor (@_JoshTaylor_) October 11, 2012
Max Scherzer: A
Scherzer did allow one run, but the man is human. Other than Drew's run-scoring double, Scherzer was absolutely dominant.
He struck out eight and allowed three hits in 5.1 innings.
Prince Fielder: B
I'll ding Fielder for some sloppy fielding in the sixth inning, but his towering blast in the fourth was all anyone needed to see. His solo homer provided Detroit its margin of victory and gave Fielder something to take from this series.
Miguel Cabrera: B+
Cabrera didn't do anything spectacular, but he did knock a single in the sixth inning. Even though the power wasn't there, he didn't make any mistakes in the field.
One thing that will go overlooked was Cabrera's block at third base as Stephen Drew attempted to stretch his run-scoring double into a triple in the sixth inning.
Jose Valverde: F
"Papa Grande" blew the save in the ninth inning, breathing new life into the Athletics by allowing three straight hits and two runs.
Detroit fans shouldn't be surprised by this, but it was still awful in the game's decisive moment.
A.J. Griffin: B-
Griffin had a few hiccups, but his final line could be a lot worse. Through five innings, he allowed two runs, seven hits and struck out only one.
Oh yeah, and he gave up a monster shot to Fielder.
Yoenis Cespedes: B
Cespedes had one of Oakland's four hits Wednesday evening, which has to count for something. He drew a crucial walk in the eighth inning, but Brandon Moss couldn't capitalize on his patience.
Even without a major play in Game 4, Cespedes is Oakland's best all-around player.
Seth Smith: A
Smith had two RBI and scored the game-winning run. His two-run double tied the game, earning him the A.
His clutch play played a major hand in forcing Thursday's Game 5.
Game 5 will be Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET.
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