Oct 13, 2011, 7:00 PM EDT
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Justin Verlander starts today with the Tigers' season hanging in the balance.
The Texas Rangers have three shots to wrap up their second consecutive American League pennant, and if they pull that off, what an accomplishment for a franchise that had never previously made any noise in the postseason. The only AL team to win back-to-back pennants in the last 17 years? The Yankees, who won four straight from 1998-2001. That's select company right there.
Of course, standing in the Rangers' way today is a guy by the name of Justin Verlander, who is really going to need to come up big to keep the Tigers' season alive. Not only does Verlander need to pitch with effectiveness, he needs to pitch with efficiency because Jim Leyland has said neither Jose Valverde nor Joaquin Benoit are available after appearing the last three days out of the bullpen. Yikes.
C.J. Wilson, meanwhile, gets the ball for Texas, and the lefty ace hasn't exactly sparkled this postseason. Wilson has failed to reach the sixth inning in either of his two starts this month. Now would be an opportune time for the pending free agent to make a big-time statement, don't you think?…
AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – GAME 5
TEXAS RANGERS at DETROIT TIGERS
Where: Comerica Park
Gametime: 4:19 p.m.
Radio: WSPZ (570 AM), XM 178
Weather: Rain, 68 degrees, Wind 9 mph in from LF
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Michael Young
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Sunday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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