Leyland: Justin Verlander won’t go on short rest in ALDS

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Tigers manager Jim Leyland has already decided his ALDS rotation and won’t consider bringing Justin Verlander back on short rest, even if the Tigers are behind after three games.

“Verlander will pitch Game 1 and Game 5,” Leyland said. “All the second-guessers can come out and say I should pitch him in the fourth game if we’re behind, but that’s not going to happen.”

Leyland didn’t announce the rest of his rotation, but he said that it’s already been settled and that nothing will change based on the Tigers’ opponent and whether they open at home or on the road.  That’s a clear indication that Doug Fister will start Game 2, followed by Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello.

Some had previously speculated that the Tigers might go with Scherzer in Game 2 if they started off at home.  Scherzer has a 3.66 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP at Comerica Park this year, compared to a 5.23 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP on the road.  Last year, he had a 2.99 ERA at home and a 3.99 ERA on the road.

Brandon Crawford homers off brother-in-law Gerrit Cole

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You can’t pick your family and no one knows that better than Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. His sister Amy married Astros starter Gerrit Cole in November 2016, so the two players are brothers-in-law.

The two players have matched up against each other 18 times in the past, as Cole spent his first five seasons in the National League with the Pirates. Cole often won that battle, holding Crawford to four hits — all singles — in 18 plate appearances.

Crawford finally got the better of Cole on Tuesday night, hitting a line drive into the appropriately-named Crawford Boxes at Minute Maid Park for a two-run home run, cutting the Astros’ lead to 5-2.