A's notes: Fatigue a factor in Jarrod Parker's early exit in ALDS Game 3

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 - 10:44 am

DETROIT – After Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Monday, A's right-hander Jarrod Parker said he didn't put up much of an argument over manager Bob Melvin's decision to take him out after five innings and just 73 pitches.

Tuesday, Melvin said Parker may not have been 100 percent, physically.

"I think he was just a little run down (Monday)," Melvin said.

"The ball probably wasn't coming out of his hand like it normally does, and he was fighting himself to an extent. … All things considered, it just didn't look 100 percent right."

Parker threw 197 innings during the regular season and had a streak of 19 consecutive unbeaten starts where he often pitched deep into games. He also allowed seven earned runs in two of his final three starts, and Melvin indicated Parker may have been battling some fatigue that carried into Game 3.

"A little bit, maybe," Melvin said, "whether it's a dead arm or it's a period where he's just getting a little bit tired, potentially."

Parker started Game 3 on eight days of rest and earned the win by limiting the Tigers to a three-run fourth inning and departing with a 6-3 lead. Still, Melvin said Parker seemed a little off from the outset Monday.

"He battled," Melvin said. "Maybe not his best velocity at times, maybe the late movement that he creates a lot of times – maybe that wasn't there."

Asked whether it's cause for concern, Melvin said: "I don't know. I think we'll see how he responds in the next couple days and how he feels, physically."

He said the A's would monitor Parker's throwing Tuesday.

If Parker were unable to make a potential A.L. Championship Series start, other options for the A's would include Tommy Milone, Brett Anderson or A.J. Griffin – depending on how Griffin is recovering from right elbow tendinitis.

Et cetera

• Melvin said he was taken aback by how quickly the run-in between closer Grant Balfour and Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez escalated during the ninth inning Monday. After Martinez stared at Balfour following a foul ball, Balfour took exception and the two had to be separated, with both benches clearing.

"I think it surprised everybody that it transpired the way it did," Melvin said. "But again, (Balfour's) just trying to fire himself up. A little misunderstanding."

Melvin said he has talked with Balfour in the past about the closer's demonstrative ways and how they can be perceived but did not feel the need to address that with Balfour after Monday's game.

• While Tigers manager Jim Leyland used 21-game winner Max Scherzer in relief Tuesday to protect a late lead, Melvin said before the game his Game 1 starter, Bartolo Colon, would not be an option, ostensibly keeping Colon in line to start Game 5 Thursday.

• A's right-hander Dan Straily became the seventh rookie in team history to start a playoff game Tuesday. Five of those have come in the past two years – Parker, Milone and Griffin in last year's ALDS, and Game 2 starter Sonny Gray and Straily this season.

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