Oct 7, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Home plate umpire Gary Darling (37) gets between Detroit Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez (41) and Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) in the ninth inning in game three of the American League divisional series playoff baseball game at Comerica Park. Oalkand won 6-3. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

ALDS 2013: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers Game 4 preview

Who: Oakland Athletics at Detroit Tigers

Where: Comerica Park, Detroit

When: 5:07 PM, ET – TBS

Series record: 2-1, Athletics

After the Detroit Tigers marched into Oakland and took Game 1 from the Athletics, facing elimination in Game 4 seemed nearly unthinkable.

But after suffering losses in Game 2 and Game 3, Detroit is now the team on the outside looking in, hoping that starting pitcher Doug Fister can save their season for another day.

Fister, who will be making his first start of the postseason has been relatively solid at home this year, though, in his lone start against the Athletics he was blasted for seven runs and thirteen hits in just five innings of work. That of course won’t get the job done in Game 4, but it would be plenty fine with Athletics starter Dan Straily, who like Fister, will be taking the postseason mound for the first time this season. The young Athletics starter only faced the Tigers one time this year, though, pitched well giving up just a single run in six innings of work, though he did give up eight hits and two base on balls in the process.

Game 3 ended in fireworks (as can be seen above) when Athletics closer Grant Balfour (who’s known to be a bit eccentric on the mound) began mouthing something to Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez. V-Mart took exception and could be seen (and heard) shouting a handful of obscenities to Balfour, who encouraged Martinez to come at him. The end result forced the benches to clear, though no punches were thrown and all parties quickly returned to their dugout. It’s unlikely anything would come of it in Game 4 considering the importance, though, if a pitch gets away, we might have some excitement on our hands.

A win for Oakland sends them to the ALCS while a win for Detroit sends the Tigers back to Oakland for a winner-take-all Game 5.

Tags: 2013 MLB Playoffs Detroit Tigers Oakland Athletics

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