October 13, 2011
Tigers short in the bullpen for Game 5
By SPORTS NETWORK
DETROIT - The Detroit Tigers will be a few arms short in the bullpen for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series against Texas, as both Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit will be unavailable.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said both right-handers will rest because they have pitched multiple innings over the last three games. The skipper is hoping ace Justin Verlander can take the Tigers deep into the game, which the Tigers need to win to stay alive in the series.
"I want to try to get through this game today with Verlander and [Phil] Coke," Leyland said prior to Thursday's game.
Sunday's rainout and three close games, two of which went into extra innings, over the past three days have forced Leyland to use his top relievers extensively.
Benoit has thrown four hitless innings over the past three days, including two innings in Game 4 on Wednesday, while Valverde has hurled 4 1/3 innings. Valverde was tagged with the loss in Game 4. He threw just eight pitches in the 10th inning, then surrendered four runs on three hits while retiring just one batter in the 11th.