Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/16/14
The Detroit Tigers rose from the ashes on Tuesday night to come back and tie the ALDS series 2-2 with the Oakland A’s. Game 5 will be played on Thursday night at the O.co Coliseum and first pitch is set for 8:07 eastern. For the Tigers, it will once again be Justin Verlander taking the mound in Oakland for the clincher. He did that last year if you recall, and all he did was shut the A’s out and push the Tigers to the ALCS. For the A’s, it will be …..? Nobody knows as of this writing. Manager Bob Melvin will have both staff ‘ace’ Bartolo Colon and the hottest name in baseball, Sonny Gray, at his disposal, both on full rest. Colon gave up 3 runs in 6 innings in Game 1 and wound up the loser. He allowed 10 hits and no walks. He struck out 4. Meanwhile, the rookie Gray went 8 shutout innings in Game 2 to help nudge the A’s to a 1-0 win and a 1-1 series tie. He struck out 9 while giving up 4 hits and 2 walks. My suspicion here is that Melvin goes with Colon initially and has Gray hot and ready at the first crack in the armor shown by big Bartolo. Either way, at least on paper, runs should be at a premium once again on Thursday night. With the A’s starting pitching still in limbo, here are some key storylines for the Tigers heading into Thursday night: Jhonny Peralta swats a 3-run homer Justified Jhonny Jim Leyland was hesitant to start Jhonny Peralta in left field in the O.co, instead giving Andy Dirks Game 1 and Don Kelly Game 2. Three hits including a double, a 3-run homer, and 5 RBI’s later for the offensively challenged Tigers and Peralta is a shoe-in to stay in the lineup. What a tremendous story the last two games have been for Peralta. Erasing the bad vibes that clouded his name after a 50-game suspension for PED use, Peralta has justified the Tigers’ faith in him as well as anyone could have hoped. It’s fascinating what a few clutch hits will do for a reputation. Much of the credit must go to Peralta for being a stand-up guy throughout his suspension as well as upon his return. Being the class act that he is has made the transition back to the team much easier on all parties involved. JV is the A’s daddy Can Justin Verlander continue to mystify Oakland’s offense? In Game 2, JV turned in arguably his best start of the season. He went 7 scoreless with 11 K’s while only surrendering 4 hits and a walk. His curveball was the best it had been all season, often times leaving A’s hitters with the bat on their shoulder headed back to the dugout. It’s not just about his performance in Game 2 though. Verlander beat the A’s twice last postseason, including the decisive Game 5 in Oakland. In those two starts he went 16 innings combined allowing just 1 run on 7 hits and 5 walks. He struck out 11 batters in each start, just like he did on Saturday night. You know Oakland wants to give Verlander a heavy dose of payback. You also know that Verlander wants to reassert himself as one of the game’s greats after a difficult season. Stop pitching to Coco!! It seems like there are guys littered throughout the league who just own Tigers pitching. Coco Crisp is one of them. Last night in the 7th inning of a tied game, Max Scherzer gave up a leadoff single to Stephen Vogt. He was sacrificed to 2nd by Eric Sogard, bringing up the steaming hot Crisp. I immediately took to my phone and texted my buddy that they needed to walk him. They didn’t. Crisp singled, driving in Vogt and gave Oakland a temporary 4-3 lead. Crisp would single again in the 9th for his 4th hit of the game. Coco has come to the plate 17 times in the series thus far. He has reached base safely 10 times on 7 hits and 3 walks. On the bright side, in Game 2 against Verlander, Crisp was 0 for 4 with a strikeout. Verlander won’t back down to Crisp but if there is an open base and the game hangs in the balance, as unconventional as it is to intentionally walk a leadoff hitter, the Tigers should do it and take their chances with one of Oakland’s more free-swinging hitters. If the A’s are going to beat the Tigers, let it be with someone other than Coco. A fired up Max Scherzer No more walking dead As last night’s game got rolling and the innings began to fly by, it appeared to me as if the Tigers had the same body language that they did during the World Series against the Giants. They were dead men walking. A bloop single by Prince Fielder, another hit by Victor Martinez, and then a 3-run homer by Peralta got the heart pumping again. And when Scherzer came off the mound dripping with adrenaline after his escape act in the 8th inning last night, he ignited his team, who went on to score 3 add-on runs in the bottom of the 8th. Despite the business-like approach that this team plays with it is apparent that some fiery energy is still required if this team wants to go places. Last night that was supplied at the most unexpected of times and the team responded accordingly. More will be needed in a hostile environment against Colon and Gray. I nominate Max for the pre-game speech on Thursday night. To receive an email each time a new Tigers article is published, fill out the Email Notification Form [Follow me on Twitter @isportsJoe]

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Darrelle Revis, Ndamukong Suh exchange words after game

Curt Schilling's son causes scare at Logan Airport

Manziel's girlfriend weighs in on the Browns QB situation

Scalpers in Detroit selling free Jets-Bills tickets for $125

Report: Redskins could bench Robert Griffin III


Broncos have meeting with scoreboard operator

Report: Cowboys could still pursue Adrian Peterson

Manny Pacquiao: I'm ready to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr.

John Calipari gets daughter's birthday wrong

Carson: Hall of Fame career not worth concussion problems

Tiger hires new swing coach

10 takeaways from Sunday's Week 12 NFL action

WWE Survivor Series results: Sting debuts, Team Cena wins

WATCH: Odell Beckham makes the catch of the season

WATCH: Marshawn Lynch's awesome post game interview

Video: RG3 gets crushed, his linemen look unfazed

WATCH: Dominic Raiola tries to cheap-shot Patriots' lineman

WATCH: Janoris Jenkins returns interception for 99 yd TD

WATCH: TY Hilton chokes up in emotional postgame interview

WATCH: Chris Clemons accidentally knocks ref's hat off

WATCH: Aaron Rodgers throws nifty TD across his body

WATCH: LeGarrette Blount does Antonio Brown's end zone dance

WATCH: Eagles take opening kickoff 107 yards for TD

Tigers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Beckham makes the catch of the season

10 takeaways from NFL Week 12

WWE Survivor Series results

Report: Red Sox set to add Hanley Ramirez

Dominic Raiola admits to dirty play

WATCH: Revis, Suh exchange words

Manziel's GF wants her man to play

Cowboys to pursue Adrian Peterson?

Cal gets daughter's bday wrong

Carson: Career not worth concussions

Report: Gundy pursuing Florida job

Tiger hires new swing coach

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.