For all the great play the A's get from their crew of often-unheralded players during the regular season, the postseason is a different beast, one that requires shutdown pitching and accepts no off-brand substitutes.
After getting bounced from the playoffs the last two years by the pitching-rich Detroit Tigers and getting swept by the Tigers this week in a three-game series, the A's weren't waiting around to bolster their starting rotation. They nabbed two of the top starting pitchers on the trade market before the late-July rush.
Cue Justin Verlander, captain obvious, dissecting the A's trade on Saturday:
Verlander on A's trade: "They made that trade because of us." Verlander, Tigs have eliminated A's the last two years.— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) July 5, 2014
Verlander on A's and trade: "If they want to win a World Series, they are envisioning that they have to go through us."— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) July 5, 2014
No grief to Verlander for pointing out the obvious. We all know how these things work: he was asked a question, he answered it. He knows the A's are trying to get past the Tigers just like every baseball fan knows the A's are trying to get past the Tigers.
Heck, A's fans were likely shooting off fireworks Friday night while sizing up how Samardzija, Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and friends match up against Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez and crew in a playoff series.
But Verlander coming out and saying it this was all about the Tigers? It adds just a tad more intrigue to a playoff matchup people are expecting to see again come October.
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