If you could encapsulate the American League Championship Series into one inning, look no further than the top of the first today. The A’s struck first, thanks to Milton Bradley. Yet, another development might wind up being more important, and naturally _ given the A’s luck in this series _ it’s a negative one.
Bradley, who has been the A’s best player by far in this series,put his team ahead 1-0 with an opposite-field double off Detroit Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman. But the good feeling associated with that dissipated when Bradley pulled up lame after taking off for third base while Frank Thomas was hitting. It appeared to be something with his right thigh muscle, and when he subsequently scored on Eric Chavez’s double, Bradley was running very gingerly.
If Bradley has to come out at some point _ and given the 50-degree temperature, that remains a distinct possibility _ the A’s will be deprived of their top RBI guy in the series. That would be a huge blow anyway, because Bradley has two home runs, a double and seven RBI against Detroit, but especially so because Frank Thomas continues to struggle. Thomas popped out with Bradley on second and is now 0-for-11 in the series.