Neither Oakland nor Boston has pulled off a sweep in their American League Division Series, meaning both play a Game Four on Tuesday. Tampa Bay survives thanks to an improbable walk-off home run by backup catcher Jose Lobaton off of one of the year's best closers, Koji Uehara. Detroit, I don't know. I am tired of Detroit.
The team with a 2-1 lead in each series is the one that is playing on the road Tuesday. No one has a chance to clinch at home, but I'm guessing if you asked the teams, they'd rather celebrate advancing on the road and not have to play a fifth game than celebrate at home. It's just the division series, after all, and there are still two more rounds potentially awaiting a team between now and the championship celebration.
Games continue to air on TBS, which continues to not iron out its assorted production-related difficulties.
Oakland Athletics @ Detroit Tigers, 5:07
Oakland leads, 2-1
Dan Straily vs. Doug Fister
Detroit's defense is something of a mess, and with Miguel Cabrera battling several injuries and having been reduced to a singles hitter, their offense is something of a mess too. This is not the same team that won the Central. They'll need a strong performance from Fister tonight.
Straily was solid enough for Oakland, but he wasn't great. His road ERA was 4.11. That sounds like a guy who will be praying for run support in the playoffs.
Do you think this game will end before the next begins? The playoffs have not exactly been chock full of short baseball games.
Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays, 8:37
Boston leads, 2-1
Jake Peavy vs. Jeremy Hellickson
If I was a Rays fan, I wouldn't feel very good about throwing out Hellickson in an elimination game. Then again, Freddy Garcia pitched well for the Braves last night, and was not at all a factor in their being eliminated. On the other hand, Garcia was pitching against a National League lineup, and Hellickson will be facing the Red Sox.
It's hard to root for either team in this series, as there are good reasons to root against both. Whatever happens, a team that we do not like will be eliminated, and that's good enough, isn't it?