ARLINGTON, Texas -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland on Saturday afternoon first ruled out any chance that ace Justin Verlander could be available to pitch to even a single batter in a potential Game 7. Verlander threw 133 pitches in 7 1/3 innings in the Tigers' Game 5 victory.
"If you see Verlander pitch again this year it will be a good thing because we will be in the World Series," Leyland said. "He's done."
Leyland then laid out ideal Game 6 plans for his pen assuming starter Max Scherzer doesn't go a full nine for the first time in his career.
Rick Porcello, who went 6 2/3 innings as the Game 4 starter, could be first up, followed by lefty Phil Coke, who dug himself a hole in the ninth inning before ending Game 5. Leyland would then turn to bullpen stalwarts Joaquin Benoit and closer Jose Valverde, both of whom have not pitched since Wednesday's Game 4.
Valverde remains perfect on the season in save situations, but he has been roughed up in other appearances, including allowing four runs in the Rangers' key Game 4 victory, capped by Nelson Cruz's three-run homer in the 11th inning.