Skip to content

Jose Valverde falters and Rangers take 3-1 lead in ALCS

Oct 12, 2011, 10:40 PM EST

Jose Valverde AP

The Tigers never asked Jose Valverde to get more than three outs during the regular season. On Wednesday, they asked him to do it for the second time in three days, and it backfired in a big way.

Mike Napoli delivered an RBI single and Nelson Cruz hit a three-run homer in the top of the 11th as the Rangers dropped the Tigers 7-3 to take a 3-1 lead in the ALCS. Valverde, who pitched a scoreless 10th in a tie game, struggled having already pitched two innings on Monday and one to earn a save Tuesday.

Valverde remains a perfect 52-for-52 in save situations this year (49-for-49 in the regular season, 3-for-3 in October), but he has frequently struggled while working in tie games or with the Tigers behind (he had a 5.79 ERA in non-save situations during the regular season). Since there was no chance of a save situation for the Tigers in extra innings tonight, manager Jim Leyland was certainly right to bring Valverde in for the 10th in a tie game. Keeping him out for the 11th for his fifth inning in three days was the questionable decision.

The Rangers also made a questionable decision of their own in the 11th. Scott Feldman, who has been awesome in the postseason, pitched a perfect 10th, throwing just 11 pitches. He certainly seemed like a very good bet to hold on to a four-run lead in the 11th. Manager Ron Washington went by the book, though, and turned the ball over to his closer anyway. Neftali Feliz had an easy inning to secure the victory, but given that the Rangers are playing the next two days, one could certainly argue that there was more to be gained by saving him for Thursday.

The decisions from both Jim Leyland and Washington figure to have ramifications in a close game Game 5. Valverde will certainly be available with the Tigers’ season on the line, but who knows how effective he’ll be? The Rangers, on the other hand, might shy away from Alexi Ogando, who threw two innings tonight, and while they’ll have Feliz in the ninth, they probably won’t extend him beyond three outs.

Latest Posts
  1. No, the Red Sox signing Pablo and Hanley is not proof that baseball needs a salary cap

    Nov 26, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    Hanley Ramirez AP

    It’s like clockwork. A team signs a big free agent or two and someone argues that baseball is doomed without a salary cap. It’s always baloney, of course.

  2. Giants casting “wide net” that includes Max Scherzer

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:12 PM EST

    max scherzer getty Getty Images

    Max Scherzer, a client of Scott Boras, seems comfortable with slow-playing this market. We’ve seen loads of rumors and reports involving the other prominent free agent ace, Jon Lester, but it’s hard to identify which teams are in the running at the moment for Max. The Giants may be one …

  3. Lucas Harrell, Jim Adduci both sign contracts in Korea

    Nov 25, 2014, 8:47 PM EST

    kbo logo

    Via Jeeho Yoo of Seoul’s Yonhap News, right-hander Lucas Harrell and outfielder Jim Adduci both agreed to one-year deals Tuesday in the Korea Baseball Organization — Harrell with the KIA Tigers for $900K and Adduci with the Lotte Giants for $650K.

  4. Diamondbacks “among teams pushing hardest” for Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas

    Nov 25, 2014, 7:51 PM EST

    yasmany tomas getty Getty Images

    Arizona has been mentioned before as a potential landing spot for Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas, but it was never really considered a strong likelihood. Maybe that perception should be changing …

  5. Red Sox announce four-year, $88 million deal with Hanley Ramirez, DFA Juan Francisco

    Nov 25, 2014, 6:38 PM EST

    red sox logo

    The Red Sox have officially introduced Hanley Ramirez and his new four-year, $88 million pact. Juan Francisco was DFA’d in the process.

  6. Yu Darvish has been cleared to resume throwing

    Nov 25, 2014, 5:40 PM EST

    Yu Darvish AP AP

    Darvish missed the final six weeks of the season with an elbow injury.

  7. The Senate will hold a hearing about domestic violence in professional sports

    Nov 25, 2014, 5:25 PM EST

    Capitol

    Possibly well-intentioned, possibly grandstanding. But it’s hard to see how this is in Congress’ bailiwick.

  8. Indians interested in Chase Headley

    Nov 25, 2014, 4:46 PM EST

    Chase Headley AP

    What would happen to Lonnie Chisenhall?

  9. The Cubs have offered Jon Lester “north of $135 million”

    Nov 25, 2014, 3:46 PM EST

    jon lester getty Getty Images

    Based on what we know at the moment, the Cubs’ offer is the richest one out there.

  10. Twins drop arbitration eligible Anthony Swarzak

    Nov 25, 2014, 3:15 PM EST

    swarzak getty Getty Images

    Swarzak was due for a raise to around $1.5 million via arbitration.

  11. How Twitter has changed baseball coverage. Which is part of the story, anyway.

    Nov 25, 2014, 3:03 PM EST

    Typewriter

    Technology itself hasn’t changed how reporters do their jobs. Rather reader demand, newly obvious by technology, has done so.

  12. Daisuke Matsuzaka is going back to Japan

    Nov 25, 2014, 1:47 PM EST

    Daisuke Matsuzaka Getty Getty Images

    Matsuzaka spent the past two seasons with the Mets.

  13. Dave Martinez is leaving the Rays after being passed over for manager

    Nov 25, 2014, 1:20 PM EST

    Dave Martinez, Joe Maddon Getty Images

    Martinez served as Joe Maddon’s right-hand man since 2008.

  14. The Mariners have spoken with the Red Sox about Yoenis Cespedes

    Nov 25, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    cespedes getty Getty Images

    They’ve been linked to Justin Upton and Matt Kemp. But another power bat is a possibility.

  15. Red Sox designate Ryan Lavarnway for assignment

    Nov 25, 2014, 12:46 PM EST

    Ryan Lavarnway Getty Images

    Lavarnway was once a top-100 prospect.

  16. Mets interested in Craig Breslow

    Nov 25, 2014, 12:15 PM EST

    Craig Breslow Getty Getty Images

    Breslow spent the past three seasons with the Red Sox.

  17. Let go of your Troy Tulowitzki fantasies, Yankees fans

    Nov 25, 2014, 11:03 AM EST

    troy tulowitzki getty Getty Images

    At least to the extent you still have them. Because it ain’t happening.

  18. More Hall of Fame ballots like Adam Rubin’s please

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

    10 METS FAYTOK

    The first rule of Hall of Fame Ballot Club: Use all ten slots on your ballot. The second rule of Hall of Fame Ballot Club: USE ALL TEN SLOTS ON YOUR BALLOT.

  19. Phillies sign Chris Nelson

    Nov 25, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees Getty Images

    Nelson was the ninth overall pick in the 2004 draft.

Featured video

Maddon has high hopes for Cubs
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. P. Sandoval (5777)
  2. Y. Tomas (3971)
  3. H. Ramirez (3804)
  4. J. Lester (3330)
  5. A. LaRoche (2289)
  1. J. Upton (2242)
  2. J. Bruce (2214)
  3. T. Hunter (2041)
  4. I. Davis (2036)
  5. M. Scherzer (1895)