Tigers manager Jim Leyland has been circumspect in answering questions about who will close for his team in the World Series, but here are the facts: Valverde surrendered leads in his last two playoff appearances and gave up another run in a Sunday intrasquad game. Coke has (temporarily) ascended to the closer’s role, with 7-1/3 shutout innings this postseason. Coke closed against the Yankees in part because their lineup was stacked with left-handed and switch hitters. But he’s also held righties to a .154 batting average in the postseason, suggesting he deserves a chance to pitch the ninth against the more right-handed Giants. - Jon Paul Morosi
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