The Tigers outlasted the Athletics 3-0 Thursday night in Game 5 of the ALDS and celebrated with some sort of group war dance/chant more fitting for a rugby pitch than the infield at the O.co Coliseum. Torii Hunter led the group celebration, which is based on the traditional Maori haka and often used before New Zealand rugby matches.
It probably should have been Justin Verlander in the middle leading the Detroit celebration. The Tigers’ righty was locked in from the first inning and sent the Athletics home in Game 5 of the ALDS for the second straight season.
Verlander retired the first 16 Oakland batters in order and didn’t allow a hit until two outs in the seventh on Yoenis Cespedes’ single up the middle.
Verlander’s 100th pitch was a 92 mph fastball in the eighth inning to Brandon Moss. His night was over after eight innings after allowing two hits and a walk. He struck out 10. Verlander finished the ALDS with 15 scoreless innings pitched. He’s now thrown 30 consecutive scoreless postseason innings vs. Oakland, a new playoff record against one team.
It was one of those nights Verlander was going so well that even balls bouncing in the dirt somehow found bats.
Detroit’s other star player, Miguel Cabrera, hit the home run off Oakland starter Sonny Gray in the fourth inning which Verlander made hold up.
The A’s meanwhile dropped their fifth Game 5 at home since 2000.