It’s almost here again.
Verlander Day. For the second time in a calendar year, the Oakland Athletics will face off against Detroit’s famed right-hander with everything on the line. Like the Grim Reaper himself, Justin Verlander will take to the mound again at the Oakland Coliseum on Thursday with a mission to put an abrupt end to the Athletics season.
As if his form-fitting pants and toothy Cheshire grin weren’t enough to draw ire, the man can flat out dominate a baseball game. In 23 innings pitched over his last three postseason starts against Oakland, Verlander has allowed 1 earned run while striking out 33. That’s pure ownership. Face it, that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence heading into a must-win game.
In fact, it’s valid reasoning to take an Ambien, the night before in hopes of a decent amount of uninterrupted sleep. The nightmares of Verlander befuddling the Athletics bats with a lethal dose of four-seam fastballs, unholy sliders, and unfair change-ups is borderline lucid.
With Sonny Gray revealed as the man behind the curtain, ready to take the ball in Game 5, the Athletics are testing fate once again. Not even a full week after matching the Tiger Ace, Gray is being trusted with the same assignment. If the narrative is to be believed, than Gray has a chance to answer the call for a second time and play the part of David against Goliath.
For the time being, try to stay positive fans.
Do what you can to exorcise the demons of Josh Reddick’s 3-2 swing and leap of faith into the Detroit bleachers. Forget about Dan Straily’s 2-strike meatball down the middle of the plate, and Sean Doolittle, Ryan Cook, and Brett Anderson’s hilariously ironic twist on the word relief.
Tomorrow is a new day. Make it something special or die trying.