Tigers vs. Rangers: Jim Leyland Laments Loss, Praises Game 4

The Detroit Tigers are on the brink of elimination after squandering chances in Game 4 of the ALCS en route to a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers in 11 innings. Jose Valverde kept his perfect season alive -- the Tigers' closer has yet to blow a save -- but was tagged with the loss after giving up four runs in the top of the 11th in a non-save situation. For Detroit fans, it was a frustrating night.

Despite the loss, Detroit manager Jim Leyland seemed positive about the game, at least in its immediate aftermath.

"It's one of the best baseball games I've ever been involved in," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "Just didn't come out the right way."

Checking in with Bless You Boys, our Tigers blog:

And if anyone tries to show up and say what a classic game this was they're going to learn a new set of swear words.

Well, all right. Detroit fans won't take solace in the fact that Leyland felt it was an excellent game, but it did provide plenty of fireworks and a couple of heroes, albeit on the wrong side of the field.

Nelson Cruz made a superb throw in the eight to gun down Miguel Cabrera at the plate, then added insurance in the 11th with a three-run home run. Mike Napoli added a gem of a throw himself, throwing out Austin Jackson in the 10th, before hitting a bloop single an inning later for what turned out to be the game-winner.

And now a second-straight World Series berth is within reach for the Rangers, who managed to find themselves on the right end of Wednesday's marathon.

For more on this game, check out the rest of the Baseball Nation live-blog and Rob Neyer's recap.

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