By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, October 3, 2013
Forty-year-old veteran Bartolo Colon will get the ball from Oakland Manager Bob Melvin to start Game 1 of the American League Divisional Series Friday at the Coliseum.
Colon was an 18-game winner in 2013, went through a slump in August but bounced back for the pennant run. He’ll face Max Scherzer (21-3), who supplanted Justin Verlander as the Tigers’ ace this season.
The A’s will face Verlander in Game 2 on Saturday, countering with rookie Sonny Gray.
With essentially a no-name lineup, the A’s won 96 games this season, but still find themselves underdogs against Detroit, which won its third consecutive AL Central Division title.
Melvin told the Bay Area media Thursday that there is “a good chance” the Yoenis Cespedes will play left field in the ALDS. If Cespedes can work through the discomfort of his sore right shoulder and play left, Melvin said Brandon Moss would be the designated hitter. However, if Cespedes can’t play in the outfield, he would DH and Daric Barton would play at first.
As far as other lineup moves go, Melvin will start Eric Sogard at second base over Alberto Callaspo. Since Callaspo is a switch-hitter, that gives Melvin a little more flexibility with his bench.
On the Detroit side, third baseman Miguel Cabrera, the reigning AL most valuable player, will play despite a nagging groin pull, among other ailments. But Cabrera insists he will be ready for the ALDS.
“I don’t think the groin will be an issue in the series,” Cabrera told the media. “I feel much better the last couple of days.”
First pitch is slated for 6:37 p.m. TBS will televise all games of the best-of-five series.
A’s ACORNS: Dave Henderson, an outfielder on the 1989 Oakland A’s World Series championship team, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Friday prior to Game 1 of the AL Divisional Series. … Detroit SS Jhonny Peralta is on the Tigers’ 25-man postseason roster. Peralta was suspended for 50 games during the season for his alleged involvement with the Biogenesis clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.