Twitter is buzzing with quotes from Jim Leyalnd's pregame presser, mostly due to his being pretty damn honest about the Tigers' back against the wall situation.
Leyland said last night that Valverde and Benoit were working on heart and fumes...and today, he says they won't pitch.
After heavily leaning on Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit the last couple of games, I don't think any of us are surprised they are out of commission.
With the back end of the pen toast, the Tigers expect (and for that matter, absolutely need), Justin Verlander to go deep into the game.
"Going to try to get through this game with Verlander and Coke."
Again, I don't think any of us are surprised. It's not as if Verlander hasn't had to bail out a burned out bullpen in the past.
What about the rest of the bullpen?
Matthew B. Mowery of the Oakland Press:
Everybody else available? "I hope so."
I'm not sure if I'm exactly thrilled by this news.
Leyland also hinted Alex Avila is getting by on guts, gumption and not much more.
Leyland on Avila: He's hurtin' pretty good. Probably some of the wear and tear after I played him too much in the regular season.
I wince every time I see Avila try to run. At least Leyland has finally admitted 132 games (141 total) is too much for any catcher, even one as young as Avila. Think finding a true backup catcher is high on the Tigers' off season to-do list?
Leyland also had this to say about his badly banged up team.
Again, Matthew B. Mowery of the Oakland Press:
"Believe me, I know what these guys are going through. I've been in the trainer's room."
The Tigers' roster has been decimated by injuries. Brennan Boesch, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez are out for the season. Victor Martinez, Delmon Young and Alex Avila are attempting to play through injuries which would likely have them on the DL in the regular season.
On Twitter, own Allison said what we are all thinking.
The quotes from the Leyland presser are making me feel ill.
But all is not lost...at least in the Tigers' locker room.
Once again, Mowery of the Oakland Press:
Leyland: "With the travel we've been thru, the stress, the strain .. and the way these guys are battling, I expect to win this game today."
So there's that going for the Tigers...which is good.