OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp maintained the A's need to have short memories following their disappointing 3-2 Game 1 loss to the Tigers Friday night.
"It's an unfortunate loss," said the Oakland center fielder. "That's the way it goes. They played a good game. We faced a good pitcher. So we just have to forget about it as fast as we can and come back tomorrow.
Crisp certainly did his job as a table-setter. He walked three times in the game, twice against starter Max Scherzer and once against reliever Drew Smyly. But he only got as far as second base once, on a third inning wild pitch by Scherzer.
Crisp said being able to turn the page after a difficult defeat is more important than ever for the A's, because it's not likely to get any easier against Detroit's Game 2 starter Justin Verlander, who beat Oakland twice in last year's ALDS, including the deciding Game 5.
"It's been working for us all year," Crisp said. "It is what it is. We almost pulled it off. We just need to let this one go and start worrying about Mr. Verlander."
Crisp looked like he might be injured late in the game, but said he only suffered a muscle cramp. He said once he came into the dugout after the eighth inning and drank some water, he felt a lot better.
"Yeah, in the batter's box I was just cramping," he said. "I had to call timeout one time, then I got back in there. I was little hesitant to run (after drawing a walk). And then when I took off I ended up cramping, which I figured I would. But, yeah, that's all it was — a muscle cramp."
-- Tigers star Miguel Cabrera left the game for defensive replacement Ramon Santiago after his final at-bat in the eighth inning, even though Detroit was clinging to a mere one-run lead.
"I wasn't comfortable taking him out of a one-run game, but there was a little more to it," said manager Jim Leyland. "This is a ballpark with a lot of foul territory and I felt like at that point, if they hit a popup that he can't get to that somebody else could have got to easily, that's an out we might give up."
Leyland added that Cabrera may have incurred some pain trying to put a little extra in a third-inning swing.
-- A's right-hander Sonny Gray admitted Friday he has a soul mate as far being a rookie pitcher in the playoffs. Gray hopes to follow his soul mate's lead, too.
Gray, who pitches Game 2 of the American League Division Series against Verlander, said he and Pittsburgh rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole have been texting back and forth in anticipation of their first postseason starts.
Cole, the top pick in the 2011 amateur draft (Gray was the 21st pick in the same draft), made a sensational debut Friday and beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-1 at Busch Stadium in Game 2 of an N.L. Division Series.
"Yeah, I actually talked to him (Thursday) night,'' Gray said. "We played in college and he shot me a text today, and I was like, `This is weird.' We're both throwing in the playoffs when a year and a half ago we were facing each other in college. I wished him luck and he wished me luck.''
Gray, who attended Vanderbilt, actually faced off against UCLA product Cole on Feb. 26, 2010, in a game the Bruins won 9-2. They were also teammates on the USA national college team in 2009 and 2010, where they developed a fast friendship as the top two starters for those squads.
Gray was impressed with Cole's outing Friday and said it set a good example for him to face one of the top veteran pitchers in the game, Verlander, Saturday night.
"It goes to show you that you take it as another game and do what you have always done, just like (Cole) did today,'' Gray said. "You don't have to be overwhelmed by the stage of it.''
All but overlooked right-handed A's pitcher Dan Otero is anything but overlooked in the A's clubhouse.
Otero ended the season having allowed four runs (three earned) in 35.1 innings from June 25 on, good for an ERA of 0.76. For the season he was 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA, and he followed up in his first playoff appearance with 1 1/3 innings of hitless relief following up starter Bartolo Colon.
"I include Otero in that group,'' Melvin said in talking about his vital short relievers. "He's put himself in that group. With him we have the ability to make the game even shorter. He's good to come in with guys on base with that sinker he has.''
-- Considering that Verlander beat the A's twice in the ALDS last year, it came as something of a surprise to some that Scherzer got the call in Game 1 Friday, even though Scherzer was the A.L.'s only 20-game winner.
-- Former Cy Young Award winner Verlander wasn't one of those surprised.
"Max is the best pitcher in the American League,'' Verlander said. ``The only reason this is being brought up is what I've done over the last couple of years. Max is without a doubt the best pitcher in the American League, and he absolutely earned this.
"It doesn't matter, especially with the rotation (the Tigers have). I mean it does, but it doesn't. You know what I'm trying to say. The four guys we're throwing out there are four of the best pitchers in the league, and they were all year.''