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Detroit manager Jim Leyland proved a master of understatement during his postgame press conference Sunday night. Comparing his bullpen’s performance in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series to Saturday night’s Game 1, he said “it wasn’t quite as good.”
That was more than a charitable assessment. In Game 1, Detroit’s relievers pitched three shutout innings in a 1-0 win. In Game 2, the Tigers’ bullpen melted down in spectacular fashion, sparking a Red Sox rally that produced 6-5 victory and evened the series, 1-1.
It was the kind of rally that leaves managers at a loss. Leyland knew that a tremendous starting effort by starter Max Scherzer — two hits, 13 strikeouts in seven shutout innings — was wasted in a half-inning marked by a parade of relief pitchers.