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ALDS Game 5: Justin Verlander dominates as Tigers win 6-0, clinch trip to ALCS

Justin Verlander was absolutely filthy on Thursday night as he led the Tigers to a 6-0 victory over the Athletics. The tigers are now headed back to the ALCS.

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Tigers tie club steals record in ALDS clincher

The Detroit Tigers swiped three steals in Game 5 of the ALDS, which tied a club postseason record last reached during Game 3 of the 1984 ALCS.


A's fans tip cap to Justin Verlander

The Oakland Athletics could not complete an improbable series comeback against the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series, falling 6-0 in Game 5 on Thursday night.

The A's were stymied by Tigers ace Justin Verlander, who tossed a complete-game shutout. SB Nation A's blogger cuppingmaster over at Athletics Nation summed up Verlander's performance pretty well:

He's the planet's best pitcher, and he proved it tonight. A Herculean 122 pitch effort with 12 K's has propelled the Detroit Tigers into the ALCS.

Verlander actually struck out 11, but the point still stands. He absolutely dominated when the Tigers needed him most, and there was very little the A's could do about it. Cuppingmaster could only tip his cap, and instead of reminiscing about the negative, chose to focus on the positive of Oakland's wildly successful season. He also had a parting wish for the Tigers:

Seriously, so many stories made this season great. And this was a great series, too. Now, Tigers, just make sure that the Yankees don't get to the World Series.

The Tigers will sit around and wait for the winner of the Orioles/Yankees series, which was extended to a fifth game thanks to a 2-1 Orioles win in 13 innings Thursday night.


Verlander: Leyland 'knew better' than to go to pen

Detroit Tigers ace pitcher Justin Verlander tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout against the Oakland Athletics in Game 5 of the ALDS, and after the game he assured reporters that manager Jim Leyland knew better than to take him out.


Tigers blog left in awe of Justin Verlander

Detroit Tigers ace pitcher Justin Verlander exceeded expectations in Game 5 of the ALDS, as he pitched a complete-game shutout and assured the Tigers will advance to the ALCS after a 6-0 win over the Oakland Athletics.

After Jose Valverde put Detroit faithful on the edge of their seats by blowing a ninth-inning lead in Game 4 and forcing a winner-take-all game on Thursday, Verlander eased the mind of every Tigers fan by dominating the A's and never giving them a chance to get a lead in the clinching game.

Kurt Mensching of Bless You Boys was left in awe of Verlander's dominance in the ALDS, because the term "ace" doesn't quite do Verlander justice anymore:

Verlander aced both exams. In Game 1, he threw seven innings of one-run ball, striking out 11. Combine that with Game 5, your series totals look like this: 16 innings, 22 strikeouts, seven hits and one run allowed. That run came off the bat of the first A's batter to face Verlander in the series.

Thanks to Verlander, a short series against the Tigers is almost unfair. You know you're going to see him at the start. You pretty much have to win the next three games, or you're going to see him again.

The Tigers await the winner of the other ALDS series between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees. The series is tied 2-2 and Game 5 is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday at Yankee Stadium.


Verlander spins shutout, Tigers advance to ALCS

The Oakland Athletics had magic. They had mojo, good vibrations, and derring-do. But the Detroit Tigers had Justin Verlander, who threw a shutout, leading the Tigers to a 6-0 victory in Game 5 and sending Detroit to the American League Championship Series for the second consecutive season.

The A's started rookie Jarrod Parker, who was impressive through 6⅓ innings, allowing seven hits, walking one, and striking out six. He gave up two runs in the third, though, with one run scoring on an Austin Jackson double, and another on a wild pitch that probably should have been blocked by catcher Derek Norris. Parker didn't throw himself into trouble too often, pitching with good command and featuring an outstanding change-up.

Verlander, though, was otherworldly. There's the Verlander who can rack up 100 pitches before the end of the fifth, and then there's Super Verlander. Okay, so this was Super Verlander. But Wally Bell was giving a couple inches off the plate, and Verlander was taking them. It wasn't an egregious abomination of a strike zone, but it was a little wide, just as it was in Game 1. Unlike Game 1, Verlander had the command to take full-time advantage, instead of occasionally working the corners.

The A's got five runners in the game, and they didn't get two runners on at the same time until the eighth. Verlander threw 122 pitches, striking out 11 and walking one. He set a major-league record by striking out 22 in the division series over his two games, and his shutout was the first for the Tigers in a playoff game since Joe Coleman in the 1972 ALCS, also against the A's.

The A's kept it close until the seventh inning, when Parker allowed a pair of singles. With one out, Bob Melvin went to the bullpen, and everything ended in flames. Ryan Cook allowed an RBI single to Austin Jackson, and then he walkedQuintin Berry to get to Miguel Cabrera, whom he hit to force in a run. Prince Fielder followed with a bloop to center to score a run, and an error from Stephen Drew brought in the final run, giving the Tigers a 6-0 lead.

Verlander's shutout was the first in the playoffs since Chris Carpenter in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS, and it was the fourth in Tigers history.

The A's had the momentum, and they had one of the most memorable, unexpected seasons in baseball history. But the Tigers had Justin Verlander, and they got to use him for two games. Almost unfair, that.

This story originally appeared at Baseball Nation.


Verlander continues dominance, leads 2-0 after six

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and Oakland Athletics pitcher Jarrod Parker continue to pitch well as Detroit leads Oakland 2-0 after six innings Thursday in game five of the American League Division Series.

Parker gave up the only two runs of the game in the third inning when Austin Jackson drove in Omar Infante with an RBI double and later scored from third on a wild pitch by Parker. Parker has struck out five in six innings and allowed just two baserunners since the third inning.

Infante singled and stole second with one out in the fifth, but Parker struck out Jackson and got Quintin Berry to pop out to end the inning.

Verlander has given up just two hits and one walk while striking out eight in six innings. Oakland had a baserunner in the fifth when Brandon Moss singled with two outs, but Verlander struck out Derek Norris.

Verlander has thrown 88 pitches through six and Parker has thrown 70.


Tigers give Verlander 2-0 lead in 3rd

The Detroit Tigers lead the Oakland Athletics, 2-0, after three innings in Game 5 of the American League Division Series on Thursday night.

Justin Verlander has struck out four batters and given up just one hit with one walk. Oakland pitcher Jarrod Parker has struck out three and given up four hits.

The Tigers scored both of their runs in the top of the third inning. Omar Infante led off the inning with a single and took second on a wild pitch. Austin Jackson then drove Infante in with an RBI double. Jackson was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Quintin Berry and scored on another wild pitch by Parker, but Parker was able to retire Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to end the inning.

Yoenis Cespedes doubled in the first for Oakland's only hit, and Brandon Moss walked in the the second. Verlander has thrown 44 pitches through three innings, and Parker has thrown 38.


MC Hammer to throw 1st pitch prior to Game 5

MC Hammer will take the mound first for the A's on Thursday night.


Tigers vs. Athletics: Starting lineups for Game 5

Despite opening the series with a pair of wins at home, the Detroit Tigers will have their backs against the wall on Thursday night in Oakland in the fifth and final game of the series.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland will give the ball to star right-hander Justin Verlander for his team's first elimination game of the postseason, as the former MVP winner will take on a slightly different lineup than the one his teammate Max Scherzer faced on Wednesday. To make room for shifting slugger Seth Smith to the cleanup spot, the Athletics moved first baseman Brandon Moss down to No. 6 in their order to face Verlander.

Against Oakland righty Jarrod Parker, Detroit will open with nearly the same starting nine it used in Wednesday's Game 4 loss. Aside from shifting Andy Dirks to the No. 7 spot and bumping Jhonny Peralta to No. 6, Leyland opted to stick with speedy outfielder Quintin Berry in the No. 2 hole to close out the series.

Here are Thursday's starting lineups:

1. Austin Jackson CF
2. Quintin Berry LF
3. Miguel Cabrera
4. Prince Fielder 1B
5. Delmon Young DH
6. Jhonny Peralta SS
7. Andy Dirks RF
8. Alex Avila C
9. Omar Infante 2B
Justin Verlander SP

1. Coco Crisp CF
2. Stephen Drew SS
3. Yoenis Cespedes LF
4. Seth Smith DH
5. Josh Reddick RF
6. Josh Donaldson 3B
7. Brandon Moss 1B
8. Derek Norris C
9. Cliff Pennington 2B
Jarrod Parker SP

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