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World Series 2012: Jim Leyland to play closer situation by ear

Tigers' manager Jim Leyland refused to name a starter before the World Series started, instead opting to "play it by ear."

Jonathan Daniel

The day before the World Series started, Detroit Tigers' manager Jim Leyland refused to name a closer, saying he would "play it by ear," according to a tweet from the Detroit Free Press. The Tigers' closer in the regular season, Jose Valverde, has been disastrous in the postseason, blowing two saves in three chances and posting an ERA of 27.00 and a WHIP of 3.43 over 2 1/3 innings. Valverde had 35 saves in 40 chances during the regular season, with a 3.78 ERA and 1.25 WHIP.

The Tigers have turned to Phil Coke to close as a result of Valverde's struggles, and he's gotten the job done, but not without making Tigers fans sweat. Coke has yet to allow an earned run in the postseason over 7 1/3 innings, and has a .82 WHIP. He has also not blown a save yet. Based on form, Coke would seem to be first choice for closing games, but Leyland is choosing not to tip his hand.