Detroit — Go figure.
There’ve been times this season Anibal Sanchez has been better than the two rotation mates he was following as the Tigers Division Series Game 3 starter.
You don’t end up, as a rule, with the American League’s lowest ERA by pitching worse even when you’re in the same rotation as Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander.
But what Sanchez did in the regular season didn’t translate into effectiveness Monday.
Every inning of his 41⁄3 was difficult.
■ In the first: He got out of a first-and-third threat.
■ In the second: He gave up a leadoff single, and a fly ball to left to Josh Reddick that almost carried out in the wind.
■ In the third: He gave up the game’s first run on a single, stolen base and an error by Miguel Cabrera.
■ In the fourth: He gave up a home run to Reddick, a triple to Stephen Vogt, and a sacrifice fly to shallow left that Coco Crisp, the batter who hit it, didn’t think would be deep enough to knock in the runner.
But with Peralta in left, the A’s took that chance
■ In the fifth, Sanchez allowed a one-out home run to Brandon Moss, followed, after a single, by Seth Smith’s two-run shot.
“He got a change-up up to Moss and a fastball to Smith that he hit pretty good,” manager Jim Leyland said. “It got up into the jet stream.
“You figure he’s going to get out of it at any time because he’s good at making pitches.”
Crisp, who had a three-hit game, still holds Sanchez in high regard.
“He has a good arsenal of (four) pitches,” he said. “I think Yu Darvish has the most, like seven, but four are a lot. When you have four, it definitely makes it tough to get in there and feel comfortable.”
Moss said the same thing: “He has so many pitches, you don’t know what to choose from, so you look for something up.”
On Monday, though, that’s what too many Oakland hitters got: Something up.
After allowing nine home runs all season, Sanchez gave up three.
“At the end, it’s part of the game,” Sanchez said. “I tried to be aggressive from the beginning, and, you know, it is what it is.”
Hot and cold
■ Hot: Jose Alvarez pitched three innings of hitless relief
■ Cold: Austin Jackson is 1-for-12 with seven strikeouts
■ Hot: Seth Smith is 4-for-8 since replacing Daric Barton at first base after Game 1
■ Cold: Jed Lowrie is 0-for-12 with six strikeouts
Fister the fan
Growing up in northern California, Game 4 starter Doug Fister attended A’s and Giants home games, but said he doesn’t remember anything specific about the first game he ever saw ...
Other than thinking he wanted to play at that level some day.
“I would tell my folks I wanted to play there,” Fister said. “I would always make that my goal, whether it was to finally get there through college or through the minor leagues.
“But I always wanted to be able to play in those stadiums growing up. Even driving by, it was, ‘Hey, someday that would be cool to play there.’ It was always a goal.”
If you’re thinking Jhonny Peralta is limited to left field as a position now, think again because the Tigers still think of him as a shortstop, as well.
When asked Monday if he would think about using Peralta at short, Leyland said about Game 3 in particular, but which probably applies to any postseason game, “That would be an option during the course of the game.
“I’m not going to start the game that way, but we could certainly it (consider playing Peralta at short) if we happen to pinch hit (for Jose Iglesias). It would be an option.”