In 1945, Tigers right-hander Virgil Trucks returned from military service just in time to start Detroit's last game in the regular season. The Tigers edged the Washington Nationals for the American League pennant, and Trucks started twice in the World Series against the Cubs. He won Game 2, and escaped with a no-decision in Game 6 (the Tigers lost that game, but took the next one to win the championship).
Brett Anderson isn't Virgil Trucks. But he started only six games for the A's this season and hasn't won since the 8th of September, but is pitching a gem in Game 3, which could be the last of Oakland's magical 2012.
After recovering from Tommy John Surgery, Anderson returned to the A's rotation in late August, and gave up only three runs while going 4-0 in his first four starts. But he struggled in each of his next two starts, and went on the shelf for a few weeks with a strained oblique muscle. That, coupled with Brandon McCarthy's serious head injury, left the A's with an all-rookies rotation that was good enough for a come-from-behind division title.
A healthy Brett Anderson, though, is the Athletics' best starting pitcher. And after five innings tonight, he's working on a four-hit shutout. But heading to the bottom of the fifth, the A's still have just a 1-0 lead, and it's not likely that one run will be enough to win this one.