Verlander to have long leash in Game 5

Verlander to have long leash in Game 5

Verlander to have long leash in Game 5
OAKLAND -- Doug Fister started Game 5 of the Tigers' American League Division Series against the Yankees last October before Max Scherzer pitched in relief to protect his lead. A year later, Fister was on the other side, available out of the bullpen if needed to protect a lead in the late innings.

The difference this year is that who pitches out of the bullpen would be pitching for Justin Verlander. As good as the all-hands-on-deck approach sounds, it only makes sense if it's worth taking out Verlander.

"Normally, what you weigh is [this]: Is the guy out there better than what you're bringing in?" Leyland said.

In pretty much any case, unless Verlander is nearing his physical limit on pitch count, the answer would be no.

"This game will probably be decided with Verlander in the game," Leyland said. "I don't have anybody better than him."