OAKLAND, CA - Less than a week ago, the Oakland Athletics did the improbable by clinching the American League West Division. They now face postseason elimination when they host the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday, who lead the AL division series 2-0.
Both teams were on the field Monday during a workout a day ahead of their Game 3 ALDS matchup. For Detroit, they will be looking to advance to their second straight AL championship series and they will send right-hander Anibal Sanchez (4-6) to the mound.
Oakland will counter with lefty Brett Anderson (4-2), who is making his postseason debut. He's made just six starts after missing 14 months due to Tommy John surgery.
The tough task of having to win three straight games in Oakland to advance to the AL championship round doesn't seem that improbable to the A's clubhouse.
"We're not pressing; we're not going to sit here and bite our finger nails in our lockers and be quiet," A's right fielder Josh Reddick said. "We're just going to be the same guys we've been all year and let our personalities run wild and act like we've won five in a row."
Last week, they were able to sweep a three-game set against the Texas Rangers to win the division championship. Subsequently, the Rangers lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Wild Card matchup last Friday.
Oakland is using that experience coupled with earlier successes including a home sweep of the New York Yankees to keep them from being discouraged.
"We've got a great amount of confidence, that's never been a bad thing for us," said Reddick. "We've done well...we're not going to change the mindset with the Tigers in here."
Should the A's defeat Detroit in Game 3, manager Bob Melvin announced that 24-year-old right-hander A.J. Griffin will be the Game 4 starter. In 15 starts, Griffin is 7-1 with a 3.06 ERA since getting the call up from AAA Sacramento.
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net