Tigers manager Jim Leyland speaks with the media before the ALCS game 1 at Fenway Park. (Robin Buckson / The Detroit News)
Boston — He’s been asked to compare closers. On a broader scale, he’s been asked to compare bullpens.
Those are natural questions before an American League Championship Series.
But here’s what Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland had to say about his pitching expectations on Saturday about Game 1 against the Boston Red Sox — and his comments weren’t about the crucial role of relief.
“Everybody talks about the bullpens,” Leyland said, “but just like the other night, when you get into a short series, we didn’t even use our bullpen.
“I think this will be a starting pitching series — with the exception of the ninth inning, most likely.
“Their (starters) are really good, our guys are really good. And I think both managers are probably hoping that the bullpens, unless it’s real late, won’t be as significant.”
In other words, as the starters go, so goes the ALCS.
“If our starters aren’t good,” Leyland said, “we won’t win this series — and probably the same for them. That’s what I would think.”