{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Bullpen matching up for late-inning success

Bullpen matching up for late-inning success

|
Bullpen matching up for late-inning success

DETROIT -- The back end of the Tigers' bullpen thrived in its share of pressure situations in Friday night's 6-3 win over the Royals, from Drew Smyly getting a strikeout with a runner on third in the seventh inning to Joaquin Benoit striking out David Lough with the bases loaded in the eighth.

With the addition of Jose Veras before the Trade Deadline, it's added some flexibility in late innings for manager Jim Leyland to match lefty against lefty splits favoring the pitcher.

"That changes things when you don't have to ask a guy to get three outs," Leyland said. "You can ask a guy to get two outs and then bring somebody else in to get one out. People don't realize, unless you have a dominant end of it, you don't realize how important that is."

In the second half, Smyly, Veras and Benoit have inherited 23 runners, allowing only four runs.

"I think they've done pretty good," Leyland said. "I'm pretty happy with them. I think in fact a lot of people probably shortchanged our bullpen a little bit."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español