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Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Odd decisions loom large in ALCS Game 4

By David Schoenfield


It's been a fun postseason so far: Plenty of drama, upsets, a three-homer game, three winner-take-it-all games in the first round, a classic pitchers' duel, a walk-off grand slam.

But until Wednesday night, there hadn't really been an egregious managerial decision to second-guess. Sure, they were some minor ones to nitpick and critique, but you get a dozen of those every game. Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, however, had some whoppers in what ended up a 7-3 victory for the Texas Rangers.
Anyway, Game 4 was a second-guesser's dream. Even Washington's decision to "save" Neftali Feliz worked out when Scott Feldman escaped the 10th with the help of Jackson's caught stealing. It's do-or-die time for the Tigers, but at least they have Justin Verlander going Thursday. He hasn't been that effective in the postseason -- eight runs in 13 innings. Considering Valverde and Joaquin Benoit will be running on fumes if needed, Verlander may need to go nine innings.

My only advice: Stay away from the intentional walks.