After the controversial start to the new playoff format in the wild card round, the Major League Baseball playoffs have the traditional Divisional Series round. The Detroit Tigers took a 1-0 series lead over the Oakland A’s with a 3-1 win and the Cincinnati Reds took a 1-0 series lead over the San Francisco Giants with a 5-2 win.
The Tigers got a spectacular performance from reigning American League Cy Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander. Verlander struck out 11 batters in his seven innings of work. This is not shocking as most everyone views Verlander as the best pitcher in the game today and to see him perform well in the postseason is no surprise.
Jarrod Parker took the loss for the young A’s pitching staff. Parker threw 6.1 innings giving up seven hits and three runs, only two of which were earned, and struck out five. Oakland can view this as a moral victory since most of their staff only has only this one season of experience and they rank as one of the best pitching teams in all of baseball.
The Reds continue to impress after winning the NL Central title. After young ace Johnny Cueto went down in the first inning, Cincy’s bullpen stepped up and held the Giants offense in check on their way to the 5-2 win. The Reds have become known for a potent offense in a hitter’s park, but with the young starting pitching showing potential they could be a very difficult team to contend with.
The Giants are far from out of the series, though. With a young staff of potential Cy Young talent, such as Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and former NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, San Fran can still easily pull out a couple of wins to make this a series.
Game 2 of both series’ will be on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012; as well as Game 1 of the New York Yankees versus Baltimore Orioles series and Game 1 of the Washington Nationals and defending world champ St. Louis Cardinals.