ALDS: Could Detroit's Verlander Pull a Hershiser in Game 5?

Deni MartinCorrespondent IOctober 6, 2011

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 04:  Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers looks on prior to Game Four of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees at Comerica Park on October 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Could Justin Verlander, the Detroit Tigers' most valuable pitcher, pull an Orel Hershiser in Game 5 tonight?

Knowledgeable baseball fans remember when the Los Angeles Dodgers' ace hurler not only started games 1, 3 and 7 of the 1988 National League Championship Series, but also recorded the final out against the New York Mets in Game 4 to earn the save.

Though Tiger manager Jim Leyland has indicated Justin Verlander won't appear in game #5 between Detroit and the New York Yankees, don't discount the possibility of the American League's best pitcher making a relief appearance.

Here's one possible scenario.  Leyland has used Benoit in the 8th inning and Valverde in the 9th.  The game is tied and we're headed for extra innings.  The Tigers score a run in the top of the 11th and Verlander announces to the Tiger skipper, "I'll get you three outs."

The Tigers' Cy Young candidate trots out to the mound and gets the Yankees 1-2-3.

Sound ridiculous?  Stranger things have happened in the playoffs.