After 14 innings, what’s next for Tigers
The challenge when a team loses a game like this is usually mental and physical. Mentally, the Tigers seemed to be handling it fine. It was a lost opportunity to gain another game on their AL Central lead, for sure, but they weren’t terribly worried.
“It was a heckuva game, a terrific game,” Jim Leyland said.
Said Daniel Schlereth: We came out on the losing end tonight, but you know what, that’s baseball. That happens. We’re going to sleep on this and get rid of this game. We’ll be back here ready to win tomorrow — er, I’m sorry, later on today.”
Then there’s the physical toll, which make take a little longer to determine.
With Victor Martinez’s knee uncertain for catching duties, Alex Avila caught all 14 innings Tuesday. He said he’ll be ready for Wednesday’s game like it was any other.
“I’m pretty tired,” he said, “but I’ll be ready to go.”
Leyland wasn’t quite so sure.
“That’s one I’ll have to think about,” he said. “That’s a tough one.”
His bullpen might be another issue. The only reliever who wasn’t used was closer Jose Valverde, and he can’t exactly be an innings-eater. Everyone else pitched at least four outs except for David Pauley, who took the loss in the 14th.
The good news for the Tigers is that they have Rick Porcello and Justin Verlander pitching the next two games, so they’re not expecting heavy use out of their bullpen. But even if Porcello gives them seven strong innings, they’re going to have to find someone to pitch the eighth, and he likely won’t be a fresh arm.
Considering it was around 2 in the morning, Leyland wanted to sleep on it before deciding anything. He’ll have to sleep fast, even with a night game Wednesday.
We came out on the losing end tonight, but you know what, that’s baseball. That happens. We’re going to sleep on this and get rid of this game. We’ll be back here ready to win tomorrow — er, I’m sorry, later on today.”