If the Detroit Tigers extend the ALCS to a seventh game on Sunday, all hands will be on deck, right? Whatever has to be done to get the Tigers into the World Series must be done, yes?
Pitching Justin Verlander in that Game 7 won’t be one of those options, according to Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
“He’s going to rest now,” Leyland said. “Obviously, if we don’t move on, he’s done. And even if we were fortunate to get to the World Series, we can make an adjustment if we need to, to give him an extra day.”
Verlander threw 133 pitches in 7 1/3 innings of work in Thursday’s Game 5 victory. Under such circumstances, Leyland would normally be inclined to give Verlander an extra day of rest and it doesn’t appear he’ll make an exception during the postseason. Especially not with only two days’ rest going into a possible Game 7 on Sunday.
So case closed. The bad news is Verlander is done for the ALCS. The good news is that if we see him pitch again for the Tigers, it will be in the World Series.
One starter who could be making a relief appearance is Rick Porcello. Leyland announced before Game 6 on Saturday that Porcello could see some action if there’s a need for a middle relief bridge between Max Scherzer and the late-inning bullpen corps of Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde.