Max Scherzer was cruising. Sandy Koufax? Bob Gibson? Miguel Gonzalez? They didn't have nothing on Max Scherzer. Through five innings of Game 4, he'd struck out eight Athletics in five innings, and none of the A's had even dared glance at second base. Let alone tread on it.
And then it went away. Coco Crisp led off the bottom of the sixth and, after eight pitches, drove a pitch through Prince Fielder. Here's the Benny Hill version of that:
And the very next batter, Stephen Drew, drove Scherzer's 90th pitch of the evening into the right-field gap, scoring Crisp with the A's first run and sending Drew to third base.
Well, sort of. He was actually out at third base by about 10 feet, although technically he did actually touch third base. Just not in time to avoid committing one of baseball's Cardinal Sins. So instead of having the tying run on second base with nobody out, the A's had the tying run in the batter's box with one out. Somewhere, Billy Beane was driving his pickup truck down the highway and punching his dashboard.
Jim Leyland, meanwhile, had seen enough of Scherzer. He summoned Octavio Dotel from the bullpen, and Dotel struck out Yoenis Cespedes. Dotel stayed in to face lefty-hitting Brandon Moss, and walked him. That brought up lefty-hitting Josh Reddick, which brought out Jim Leyland, who brought out lefty Phil Coke.
Reddick sent Coke's second pitch for a ride, but Austin Jackson gathered in the ball on the cusp of the warning track in deep center field.
So after six innings, it's Tigers 2, Athletics 1. And now we're in for a battle of the bullpens.