Everyone knew as the Tigers marched into the playoffs that they had a couple of family problems. Make that a handful of domestic issues. The big one Miguel Cabrera’s sore groin was known and impossible to help beyond the prayers Tigers Nation continually offered. The second and third — a sudden late-season power outage and no speed on the basepaths — were part and parcel of an offense that was betraying some well-pitched games by Tigers starters. The fourth complication was potentially a killer. The bullpen had been a hide-and-seek game for the Tigers since spring camp when they thought they had a closer then didn’t then later on did and didn’t — until Joaquin Benoit came to the rescue. It had all held together though. Jim Leyland’s relief corps did stalwart work down the stretch and through the playoffs’ early goings including Saturday night’s classic a 1-0 punch-out of the Red Sox in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series. It was all a mirage. On Sunday night with the Tigers ahead 5-1 and with Game 2 of the ALCS all but in their pants pocket heading home to Comerica Park the bullpen disintegrated costing Max Scherzer a masterpiece and far more critically gutting the Tigers and that 2-0 series lead they thought they were bringing back to Motown for Games 3 4 and 5.
Tigers bullpen implodes at worst possible time
Detroit News | Oct 14