OAKLAND -- Jed Lowrie wasn't in Oakland a year ago when the A's hosted three American League Division Series games against the Tigers, averaging about 37,000 fans, but his A's teammates have told him the stories.
He says he can't wait for the wall of sound that marks A's home games in the playoffs this year, with about 12,000 seats being opened up in the third deck, getting attendance not far short of 50,000.
"This place has a special feel to it," Lowrie said of the Coliseum. "It always feels like there are more people here than their actually are."
Will that hold true when every seat, even the 12,000 that have to this point been covered by a tarp, is sold? The A's and Tigers will find out when Game 1 of the playoffs starts Friday at 6:37 p.m.
Certainly the Tigers are expecting a raucous reception.
This is one of the rowdiest baseball experiences I've ever been part of," Game 1 Tigers starter Max Scherzer said.
Scherzer started in Game 4 in Oakland last year, a 4-3 A's win, although he didn't take the loss.
"The fans here go absolutely nuts from the first pitch to the last, and that's just something you have to deal with," he said. "They're adding more people this year, so it's just going to be an unbelievable baseball experience, something I'll never forget."
Detroit manager Jim Leyland said he enjoys the thought of a playoff game in the Coliseum, and he hopes his team feels the same.
"This is obviously a very low energetic stadium," Leyland said. "And the only thing you do when you come to a place like this is you try to live on the energy the opposing team's fans provide, thrive on it, live on it. Enjoy it.
"I like bars with music, but this is a little bit loud. So it does get in the ear drums. Thank God I don't hear that well. But it's a great atmosphere, there's no question about it."
What's true is that while all the jokes in the world about the Coliseum's plumbing underscore the worst of the place, the A's players believe that with a full house, the Coliseum has a home-field advantage that may only be matched in the American League by Fenway Park.
"For A's fans, this is what it's all about," closer Grant Balfour said. "They don't make it any easy place for opposing teams to play. They need to do it respectfully, but it can be a very hard place to play as a visitor."
Setup reliever Ryan Cook said he's not sure how the extra 12,000 or so will impact the game, but he said the crowds last year were a huge incentive.
"I don't think it's fair for players to put expectations on fans," Cook said. "But the electricity that was here last year will be raised to a whole new level. I can't wait to play in front of these fans."
Center fielder Coco Crisp is another who is waiting for those 12,000 additional voices to be raised.
"Last year they really opened up," Crisp said. "I wonder now just how much louder can it be?"
He's not the only one wondering.
"It was unbelievable when we were coming here to Oakland," Tigers' third baseman Miguel Cabrera said. "I think we are going to face a loud crowd tomorrow. I don't know how (we) are going to prepare, but I think we're going to be ready for that. Even if they lose, they're loud, too. It doesn't matter. Nine innings in the game, that's very impressive."
"The thing about Callo is that even if he doesn't start a game, you know you're going to get a matchup with him and you can put in there in a big spot and it doesn't necessarily have to happen at the second base position. He's been impactful for us."
Melvin won't announce his full Game 1 lineup until Friday morning.
It was speculated that Peralta would start in left field if he made the club, but Leyland said the former shortstop wouldn't start in Game 1 and that Andy Dirks would be in left.
"We'll play it by ear each game," Leyland said regarding using Peralta in left, where he has very little experience.
Tigers utility man Matt Tuiasosopo was the casualty of Peralta being added to the postseason squad. Of players in question, Leyland added that infielder Hernan Perez and left-handed reliever Jose Alvarez had also made the postseason roster.
"Why?" he said. "I'm good, man, no complaints."
Cabrera did reflect on that final at-bat, though, and the surprising fastball Romo threw that won the World Series for the Giants.
"It was a good pitch," he said. "He threw me six, seven sliders in a way and then that fastball up and away. I think that's part of the game and you've got to be ready."
"That's great," Cabrera said. "He's a great player and I think he's one of the reasons the Oakland A's are in the playoffs. He can change the game not only with his bat, but with his glove, too. He's very smart hitting, too."
"They're a quality team and they were hot and they beat us," said Game 1 starter Max Scherzer. "Hopefully we can learn from that and be better this time."
"Anytime you have that kind of series against that quality of a team, you try to take some confidence from it," said Melvin. "We faced four really good starters and we did well against them. That doesn't mean it's always going to happen that way. It's not like you expect 10 runs a game against the quality of starters they have."
Bay Area News Group staff writer Carl Steward contributed to this report.