Jose Valverde was one strike away from closing out a 2-0 Tigers win and series victory over the Kansas City Royals. He had Lorenzo Cain down in an 0-2 count with Eric Hosmer standing on second base. Cain fouled a pitch off and was a touch late on Valverde's fastball.
Cain's home run tied the game and appeared to deflate the Tigers. Jim Leyland pulled Valverde for Phil Coke, who retired the side in the ninth to send the game to extra innings. After the Tigers went down in the top of the 10th, the Royals scored a run on an RBI single by Eric Hosmer, winning 3-2.
With the Tigers off tomorrow, there will undoubtedly be plenty of focus on Valverde's performance (including here!). This particular pitch was, in a word, horrible. Overall? That's for others to decide.
What do you think? Should Valverde keep his job? Or is this the last time we see Papa Grande in the ninth for the Tigers?
•Royals 3, Tigers 2: Valverde, Coke cost Tigers ‘W’ | GIF
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•Patrick: Try Bruce Rondon or Joaquin Benoit
•Rob: Think outside the box -- Darin Downs or Luke Putkonen