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ALCS Game 3 (7th-inning stretch)

The white towels are out in force at Comerica Park, and the way folks are waving them in the air, it looks like the expected snow flurries have started early. And unless a certain place freezes over here in the next couple of innings, the A’s will be jaw-deep in a 3-0 deficit in the American League Championship Series.

To this point, they have been mesmerized by Tigers starter Kenny Rogers, who looks as imposing in a Tigers uniform as Denny McLain once did. Rogers has allowed only two hits in seven innings, and it’s hard to remember a single ball that’s been hit on the screws. That’s 14 2/3 innings worth of goose eggs in the postseason for Rogers, who has changed permanently the paragraph on his baseball biography that dealt with his inability to pitch big games.

Meantime, the A’s got a decent effort out of Rich Harden. He departed after 5 2/3 innings, having allowed three runs. And if the A’s weren’t willing to take that entering this game, they just weren’t being realistic.

Anyway, when this series is over _ and at this point, there’s no reason to think it’ll last beyond Saturday _ the A’s will point to many things for their failures. Frank Thomas has struggled offensively, Eric Chavez’s failed to make a couple of terrific plays that he normally makes in his sleep; and Barry Zito and Esteban Loaiza stunk. But this series has been more about what the Tigers have done than what the A’s haven’t. Anyone who says otherwise must be seeing a different game.

Joe Stiglich