Tigers defeat Athletics
4 games to 0
|Game||Date||Winning Team||Losing Team|
|1||Oct. 10||DET 5||OAK 1|
|2||Oct. 11||DET 8||OAK 5|
|3||Oct. 13||DET 3||OAK 0|
|4||Oct. 14||DET 6||OAK 3|
Managers: Leyland, Jim, DET; Macha, Ken, OAK
MVP: Polanco, Placido
ALDS: Detroit over New York (3 games to 1); Oakland over Minnesota (3 games to 0)
Twenty postseasons had come and gone (1994 excluded) since the Tigers last played beyond a regular season, and they had not been to the World Series since 1984. So there was a huge release of emotion in the Motor City after Jim Leyland's club beat the Yankees to reach the ALCS.
Give the A's credit for finally getting over the Division Series hump -- their four-year streak of early exits from 2000-03 was still fresh -- but they were outmatched against the Tigers.
Barry Zito, the lone holdover of Oakland's Big Three (also Tim Hudson and Mark Mulder), started Game 1 for Oakland at home but was knocked out in the fourth inning as Detroit built a 5-0 lead. The visitors took both of those games at McAfee Coliseum, and then Kenny Rogers threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings during a 3-0 Detroit win in Game 3 at Comerica Park.
With two on and two out in the ninth, Magglio Ordonez won the pennant for Detroit with a walk-off homer against A's closer Huston Street. It was Ordonez's second homer in the game, and it represented the first pennant-winning homer since Aaron Boone for the Yankees in the 2003 ALCS.
In the Tigers' case, being so dominant may have had an adverse effect. While the Cardinals were waging an epic seven-game National League Championship Series against the Mets, Detroit was forced to deal with a long wait between games. Despite their simulated attempts to stay active, once could argue that the Tigers were not as sharp in the World Series as a result.
Leyland, who had led the Marlins to the 1997 World Series title, became the seventh manager to earn pennants in both leagues. Another Marlins connection -- Ivan Rodriguez, the 2003 NLCS MVP with the World Series champions -- was Leyland's catcher on this Detroit club, but he was just 2-for-16 in the series.
A hard-throwing right-hander named Justin Verlander burst onto the scene in 2006, ultimately winning American League Rookie of the Year Award honors with a 17-9 record and 124 strikeouts in 186 innings. He picked up his first postseason win in this series, earning the Game 2 decision thanks to plenty of offensive support.