2013 ALDS: Oakland A's Prove They Can Compete with the Detroit Tigers

D.J. O'ConnorSenior Analyst IIIOctober 6, 2013

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 05:  Austin Jackson #14 of the Detroit Tigers reacts after being struck out in the eighth inning against the Oakland Athletics during Game Two of the American League Division Series at O.co Coliseum on October 5, 2013 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In 2012, the Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers played a full-length five-game series to determine who would advance to the ALCS.

It looks like that could be the case again one year later.

If the first two games of the ALDS are any indication, this will be a highly competitive bout.  Game 1 went to the Tigers, 3-2, while Oakland celebrated a walk-off 1-0 win in Game 2.

This is October baseball at its finest.  

The Tigers have a stacked lineup with names like Tori Hunter, Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and MVP-candidate Miguel Cabrera among others.  Despite the star power in their lineup, the Tigers have had 17 consecutive scoreless innings, and counting.

Detroit jumped on Bartolo Colon in Game 1, scoring three runs in the first inning, before the A's right-hander settled down.  Since that first inning, Detroit has not brought a runner across home plate.  That's where the A's pitching staff deserves a tip of the cap for shutting down this powerful Tigers lineup.

Speaking of Oakland's pitching, nobody can write about this series and not mention Sonny Gray.  The rookie was making just his 11th major league start, but that didn't stop him from tossing eight shutout innings as he went frame for frame with former Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.

Also, going into this series there was concern in Oakland about the health of Yoenis Cespedes and his right shoulder.  While he did miss a line drive in Game 1 after making his return to left field, he proved his shoulder wasn't a factor when he crushed a home run into the left field bleachers off Max Scherzer.

With both games having been decided by one run, it doesn't look like any of these upcoming contests will result in an easy win for either team.

The Tigers did come into Oakland and take a game to split the series going back to Detroit. But before fans make a case for the Tigers now having home-field advantage, they should remember back to August when the A's almost pulled off a four-game sweep at Comerica Park.  A ninth-inning rally saved Detroit from being swept at home in four games.

Some people pick Oakland to win this series and some pick Detroit, but I think we can all agree that this ALDS rematch from last year will have no shortage of drama and excitement as it goes down to the wire.