Leyland: Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit not available tonight

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Jim Leyland just did his little meet-and-greet with the media and said that Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit will not pitch in today’s potential elimination game. Or, to quote Leyland:

“I want to try to get through this game with Verlander and Coke”

I presume he means Phil, but for as dicey as this series is getting for the Tigers, who knows?

Seriously, though, he’s just facing facts here.  Benoit and Valverde can’t have a thing left in the tank given how much they’ve been used lately.  This is Justin Verlander’s game to win or lose. And to that end I put the over/under on how many pitches he throws at approximately three trillion.  Really, we might just see his arm fall clean off in this game. And even as it dangles by a tendon, it’s probably the best option Jim Leyland has.