After last night’s loss Jim Leyland was asked if he’d consider bringing back Justin Verlander on short rest to start Game 4 if the Tigers were facing elimination and the manager made it clear that’s not an option.
Verlander threw just four innings in Game 1, which normally might make coming back on short rest doable, but his 98 pitches weren’t a particularly light workload.
It’s also worth noting that the Tigers aren’t exactly relying on a bum in Game 4 as is, with Max Scherzer set to take the mound. He’s arguably Detroit’s second-best starter and would be the No. 1 guy on a lot of teams.
Verlander, who now has a 4.22 ERA in 12 career playoff starts, is slated to pitch Game 5 in Detroit on Monday if the Tigers can extend the series.
Both a Kinsler and a Kintzler made headlines at the Winter Meetings. After the Angels acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Nationals have inked reliever Brandon Kintzler to a two-year contract, pending a physical. Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that the deal is worth $10 million and includes a third-year option worth $6 million.
Kintzler, 33, spent the latter half of his 2017 campaign with the Nationals after the Twins traded him. Between both clubs, he put up an aggregate 3.03 ERA with 29 saves and a 39/16 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.
Sean Doolittle will handle save situations for the Nationals. Kintzler and Ryan Madson will bridge the gap to him in the seventh and eighth innings.