Jim Leyland was thinking about it. That much, we knew.
The evidence was beyond the Yankee Stadium wall, in left-center field, where Octavio Dotel warmed up in the visiting bullpen. He stirred one batter into the ninth inning Saturday night, after Russell Martin's single started the ninth inning from hell for the Detroit Tigers.
Jose Valverde is the Tigers' closer. He has been since 2010. But it spoke to the depths of his recent struggles that Leyland had another reliever warm up behind him that quickly - even as Detroit held a 4-0 lead.
Leyland was hedging. Turns out, he should have acted even more boldly.
By now, you know what happened next: Ichiro Suzuki slammed a home run off Valverde to make it 4-2. Three batters later, Raul Ibañez, in the latest chapter of his Reggie-esque October, sent a game-tying souvenir into the right-field seats on a Valverde splitter that didn't split.
It was only then that Leyland pulled Valverde. Dotel trotted in from the bullpen and s...