Rule of thumb: If you don't get the offense you want, you better get the pitching you need.

Welcome to the latest chapter of Justin Verlander: The pitcher, the ace, the horse.

With Verlander allowing one run on three hits while striking out 11 in seven innings Saturday night, the Tigers downed the Oakland K's 3-1 in Game 1 of their Division Series.

Yes, we know. That's not their name.

The Oakland A's are to be admired for what they've accomplished, for the immense surprise they've been, and for how many games they won this year.

But in so doing, they set an American League team record for most strikeouts, and sometimes, just sometimes, they look more like that team than the resilient, resourceful bunch that got this far.

On Saturday night, in other words, they were the K's.