End of the Potato

BY foxsports • October 25, 2012

FOX Sports Detroit

Jose Valverde had some great moments in a Detroit Tigers uniform.

If he gets one more -- celebrating a World Series championship -- it won't be due to anything he's done.

Valverde's meaningful career as the Tigers closer had to have come to an end in the seventh inning of the lopsided Game One loss to San Francisco. After getting lit up by the A's and Yankees, the Big Potato got one last chance at AT&T Park.

Jim Leyland wasn't ready to use him in a close situation, so he came in with the Tigers already trailing 6-1. He struck out the first batter he faced -- Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum -- but that was the only bright spot. Angel Pagan doubled, and the next three hitters singled to drive in a pair of runs.

That was it for Valverde, who appeared to be near tears in the Tigers dugout as he talked to pitching coach Jeff Jones. His ERA in this year's postseason is now 30.38, and most fans on Twitter were hoping that the Tigers would invent an injury that would get him off the postseason roster.

That's probably not going to happen -- Valverde says he's healthy, so the Commissioner would reject an injury claim -- but the Tigers can't afford to try to fix him in the middle of the World Series.

A year ago, he was 51-for-51 and helped the Tigers to the ALCS. Now, even as his teammates have taken the next step, the Big Potato is going to finish his season, and his Tigers career, watching from the dugout.