Leyland on French, Miner
The Tigers’ first pitching change of the night seemed almost like a previous night’s game by the time the Tigers rallied ahead for good in the 16th inning Friday night/Saturday morning, but the move from starter Luke French to Zach Miner ended up playing a big role in this game. French, while walking two hitters and working deep into counts on others, managed to keep his outing from far worse with timely outs. Miner, after retiring Michael Cuddyer to strand two runners in the fifth, allowed five of six batters to reach base safely in the sixth, capped by back-to-back triples that drove in three runs and set up the game-tying sacrifice fly.
The rest is a long bit of history.
“Everybody’s got to make their contributions tonight,” Leyland said. “Because Zach had a bad night, it cost us a lot. That’s just the way it is. That can’t happen. You’ve got a 7-2 lead. You’ve got to go in there and get us three outs. That’s just the way it is. I’m not upset with Zach; I’m just making a point. That’s why I talk about every pitcher making a contribution. …
“This game should’ve never gotten to this point. You’ve got to come in and stop it right now. It’s 7-2, You’ve got a free run, nobody on base. He just didn’t get it done. He was up with everything and he had a bad night. But he’s been doing a great job, too. I want to make that clear.”
On French, Leyland suggested the rookie left-hander’s 10-day layoff left him rusty.
“I think a lot of that was from the layoff,” Leyland said. “So he did fine. He actually came out of it doing fine.”
As for Saturday’s bullpen, Leyland said everyone should be available but Zumaya, whom he said he’s going to rest at least Saturday and possibly Sunday after 50-plus pitches.