After three games in four days, including two extra-inning thrillers, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he will not use closer Jose Valverde or top setup-man Joaquin Benoit today. Leyland was forced to use both in Games 2, 3 and 4, as they combined for 8.1 innings of work.
And while Ron Washington has turned to Scott Feldman, Mike Adams, Mike Gonzalez, Alexi Ogando and Neftali Feliz at crucial points in the ALCS, the thin Tigers bullpen has Leyland in a bind:
"Truthfully, I want to try to get through this game today with (Justin) Verlander and (Phil) Coke."
There's been speculation that Verlander's career-high 264 innings pitched this year have caused him to be off his game in the playoffs, but after pitching only 13 innings through 3 games due to numerous rain delays, he should be ready to go deep into Game 5.
Coke, a left-handed reliever, has appeared in only 4 playoff games so far, pitching 2.2 innings and giving up 3 earned runs. If the ALCS goes into extra innings again, the Rangers will have an even more pronounced bullpen advantage than usual today.