Tigers name Anibal Sanchez ALCS Game 1 starter

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

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As expected, Anibal Sanchez will get the ball for Detroit in Game 1. (USATSI)

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Tigers right hander Anibal Sanchez will start Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Red Sox, the club announced Friday.

This announcement was a mere formality, as manager Jim Leyland said Thursday night that Sanchez would "probably" be the starter. Not only that, but Justin Verlander started Thursday, Doug Fister started Tuesday and Max Scherzer worked two innings in relief -- on short rest -- Tuesday. So that left Sanchez.

Sanchez, 29, was 14-8 with an AL best 2.57 ERA during the regular season. He also sports a 1.15 WHIP along with an impressive strikeout rate (202 in 182 innings) and had was the toughest pitcher in the AL to homer against (0.4 HR/9).

In his Game 3 start against the A's, though, Sanchez coughed up six runs (five earned) on eight hits -- including three home runs -- in 4 1/3 innings. He took the loss.

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