Oakland A's rookie Jarrod Parker did his best to match the effort of reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander on Thursday night, but received no run support from his lineup.
The box score shows Parker having pitched 6.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits while walking one batter and striking out six. In actuality, Parker threw a better game than his statistics showed.
Through the first six innings, Parker allowed just two runs, both coming in the top half of the third. The first run came via an RBI double by Austin Jackson to score Omar Infante. Jackson scored a couple batters later on a wild pitch that could have been considered a passed ball by catcher Derek Norris.
The final two runs charged to Parker came in the seventh inning after Parker left the game with runners on the corners and one out.
Ryan Cook came on to pitch in relief and promptly allowed Jackson to score on an RBI single. Cook then walked the bases loaded before leaving the game in favor of Jerry Blevins, who would plunk Miguel Cabrera to force in the final run charged to Parker.
For Detroit, the entire pitching story can be summed up in two words: Justin Verlander.
Verlander was nasty, striking out 11 Oakland Athletics in route to his second postseason victory of 2012 and the complete game shutout.
Verlander did not allow an Oakland hitter past second base the entire game, giving up just four hits for the night and only walking a single batter.
He showed why he is the reigning MVP and Cy Young Award winner.
Oakland's Final Grade: B
Detroit's Final Grade: A+