Tigers manager Jim Leyland surprised many on Wednesday when he said staff ace and presumptive American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander will not be available out of the bullpen for Game 5.
He explained his decision shortly before the first pitch of Game 5.
Said Leyland: "I don't think it's a wise decision. Like I said, those innings he pitched the other night, all the innings he's piled up this year, all the strikeouts, all the adrenaline, and the fact that he's throwing 100 miles an hour in the eighth inning [on Monday night], if he comes in this game tonight, there's no telling what he would be throwing with the way this crowd is going to be and everything. I just don't think it makes sense."
Verlander threw 120 pitches in eight innings in the Tigers' 5-4 win. He also tossed 25 in one inning on Friday night before the game was suspended due to rain.
Verlander has never pitched out of the bullpen in his career. Prior to his Game 3 start Monday following Friday's rainout, Verlander had never started a game on fewer than four days' rest.