Before Game 5, Detroit Tigers skipper was asked the same question he heard prior to Game 4: Who's available out of the bullpen tonight? His response was almost perfect — in both senses of it.
— Curtiss (@curtiss_ian) October 11, 2013
Verlander threw eight shutout innings, allowing only two hits and a walk, the first hit not coming until the 7th inning. He had a perfect game until a walk in the 6th inning. He forced 24 swings-and-misses in all, tying the highest total in his career, while striking out 10. Verlander was awesome in continuing to own the A's:
Justin Verlander's remarkable night is over. Last 2 playoffs vs A's (4 starts): • 31 IP, ER, 43 K, 0.29 ERA, 30 straight scoreless innings
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 11, 2013
Leyland did go to his bullpen, beyond Verlander. He would use his closer Joaquin Benoit in the 9th inning. Benoit put a couple runners on, but ultimately sealed the victory by inducing a lazy fly to right for the third and final out. On to Boston for the ALCS … but not before a little bit of the bubbly (and the Maori(i) Torii victory dance):
First pitch of the ALCS is on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Fuck yeah, baby!