Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Phil Coke is available to pitch if needed in Game 4 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees.
Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Phil Coke is available to pitch in Thursday's Game 4 of the ALCS against the New York Yankees if needed. Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he'd prefer not to use Coke, who has earned saves in each of the Tigers last two wins, but that he is available.
Coke only appeared in three of Detroit's ALDS games against the Oakland Athletics for a total of 1.2 innings, but has been used more frequently in the ALCS. Coke pitched one inning of relief in the Tigers' Game 1 victory and earned saves in both Game 2 and Game 3. In Game 2, Coke pitched two scoreless innings and struck out three batters. In Tuesday's Game 3 he pitched the last two outs of the ninth inning, giving up two hits but earning the save by striking out Raul Ibanez with two men on base.
The Tigers have not used their regular season starter Jose Valverde in either of their last two games after he blew the save in Game 1. In fact, Coke has been the only reliever the Tigers have used since Game 1 of the ALCS.