Originally posted on NBC Dallas- Fort Worth  |  Last updated 10/13/11
Make no mistake, all that stands between the Texas Rangers and another trip to the World Series is the best pitcher in baseball this season and a slam dunk for the American League Cy Young Award. Not Joaquin Benoit. Not Papa Grande. Not Doug Fister, who shut the Rangers down in Game 3. It's Justin Verlander, and Justin Verlander alone. The Tigers' stout 8th and 9th inning guys, Benoit and Jose Valverde, have pitched on three straight days with multiple-inning apperances included in there. Even Detroit manager Jim Leyland said after Wednesday's game that the two are running on "heart and fumes." So in order for the Tigers to stay alive and send the ALCS back to Arlington, Verlander is most likely going to have to pitch a gem and go 8 or 9 innings. He is plenty capable of such performances, but his style of pitching plays into the hands of the Rangers bats. The Rangers are a fastball hitting team, dead-red. They absolutely love hitting fastballs, and that's what Verlander excels at. I...
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