As the entire Major League Baseball world turns to watch a dramatic game five of the American League Division Series between the Oakland Athletics and Detroit Tigers, most believe Sonny Gray is the only chance the A’s have to win this game. The young ace-caliber starter will have to throw every bit as well as he did in game 2 if the supposedly overmatched A’s are to have any prayer of winning the game. Well, that isn’t totally untrue but he isn’t all they need either.
There is one reason the Athletics are in the spot they are in on Thursday night in their home ballpark. They play as a team. They win and lose as a team. It has to be that way with everyone giving maximum effort all the way through the game, from first pitch to last if they are to win. That might sound difficult but it is the same way they won game all season long and it is absolutely doable for them.
Gray does need to have a near flawless game but that will also depend on great defensive plays when the Tigers do put wood on the ball. On the other side of the ball the offense had better cherish every single walk and base hit they get from Verlander, just in case it is the last one they get. He could climb into shut down mode at any point so if they get a runner to second base with less than two outs, they have to find a way to score him.
This kind of all around effort will win the game and the series for them. It matters not whose name is on the back of the uniform for the A’s. The name on the front is the only thing that should matter tonight and if it is, they have a great chance of knocking off the American League champion Tigers.