From solid to suddenly in tatters is the state of the Tigers’ bullpen.

The return to form of setup man Joaquin Benoit a few weeks ago solidified the Detroit bullpen.

Jose Valverde could be sure of getting a good lead-in to a save.

Al Alburquerque was revelation as a late-inning alternative from mid-game on.

Daniel Schlereth was pitching well, David Purcey looked like a solid acquisition and whomever was called upon was doing a standup job.

Then Schlereth started to stumble on occasion, walking left-handed hitters. He’s since been sent to the minors to yield to Detroit’s need for a fresh arm in the bullpen.

Alburquerque was placed on the disabled list because of soreness near his right elbow.

Joaquin Benoit gave up a run Thursday and Valverde imploded Friday night.

Ryan Perry was recently brought back and has looked better than when he was sent to the minors (although Perry set a rather high bar when he was faltering.

Rookie Lester Oliveros was brought up to stand in for Alburquerque.

All this took place after Detroit’s staff was bombarded by the New York Mets for 30 runs and 38 hits in two games.

The pen needs something close to a complete game so it can rest and recuperate.

Too bad Justin Verlander doesn’t pitch until early next week.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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