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Justin Verlander hit 100 mph with his final fastball

May 7, 2011, 10:03 PM EDT

verlander gatorade Reuters

Tigers ace Justin Verlander did a number of impressive things over the course of his nine-inning no-hitter Saturday in Toronto. He threw 74 of his 108 pitches for strikes, induced 12 groundball outs, and issued just one walk to the 27 batters that he faced.

But the most impressive feat of the historical outing was a 100 mph fastball that Verlander delivered to final batter Rajai Davis with two outs in the ninth inning. It was his 106th pitch and the third-to-last offering of the afternoon. Davis fouled it off before whiffing on a slider two pitches later.

It wasn’t the only time Verlander was caught pushing the radar gun to its limit. According to MLB.com’s Gameday application, which uses the trustworthy Pitch-F/x system, the right-hander from Richmond, Virginia also hit 100 mph in the seventh and eighth innings. He topped out at 101 mph.

Possessing triple-digit velocity isn’t necessary for big league domination. Francisco Liriano is averaging 92.1 mph on his fastball this season and he threw a no-no just a handful of days ago. Mark Buehrle, who rarely tops 88 mph, threw one in July of 2009 and April of 2007. But that 100 mph fastball that Verlander delivered today with the Rogers Centre crowd wavering on who to root for is an indication of the kind of arm strength and clean mechanics that go along with being one of the most lethal pitchers in the game.

Verlander is one of three active pitchers with multiple no-hitters. The others: Buehrle and Roy Halladay.

  1. PierzynskiAteMyKitten - May 7, 2011 at 10:39 PM

    Just a minor quibble, but he faced 27 batters, not 28. The one walk was erased on a double play.

    • Drew Silva - May 7, 2011 at 10:40 PM

      Appreciate it.

    • adeedothatswho - May 7, 2011 at 10:53 PM

      It’s still 27 batters.

    • southernpatriots - May 8, 2011 at 10:21 AM

      Great observation. He reminds me of Nolan Ryan of a few years ago.

  2. adeedothatswho - May 7, 2011 at 10:50 PM

    Does anyone honestly give a shit about no hitters anymore? We used to go years without one, and now we get one a month, at least. Let’s stop calling them ‘history’. When the list gets over 300 players, let’s just call it a great day on the mound. I’ve seen more no hitters than balks lately.

    • Ari Collins - May 7, 2011 at 11:12 PM

      Sure, there have been 8 no-hitters in the last 9 months of play (if you count October as a full month of play, which, of course, it isn’t; feel free to say 8.5 months of play). But that doesn’t suddenly make no-hitters worthless. They’re a bit fluky, sure, but they’re still about as dominant as you can be short of a perfect game. Except maybe an 18+ strikeout performance, I guess?

      • ignorantwretch - May 7, 2011 at 11:32 PM

        The walk Verlander gave up to J.P. Arencibia in the 8th inning was after a 12 pitch at bat and Ball 4 was a close one. He faced the minimum with only 108 pitches and the Jays didn’t square up on many of the ones put in play. So, yeah, I care. He was dominant today.

    • drunkenhooliganism - May 7, 2011 at 11:57 PM

      I’m in awe of Todd Wellemeyer’s career and would give up drinking and hooliganing to be able to be one of the chosen few who get to be a major leaguer, much less be one of the 300 or so people in the history of ever who have thrown a no-hitter. I’m impressed. No-hitters still get my respect.

    • Andrew - May 8, 2011 at 12:56 AM

      Here’s a novel idea: When a no-hitter happens, it’s important news and everyone wants to talk about it. When a balk happens, it’s rarely news.

      Now do you understand why you’ve seen more no-hitters than balks?

      • adeedothatswho - May 8, 2011 at 2:29 AM

        Balks are quite often news. Are you living under a rock? Cause they can hook up internet anywhere now.

      • Andrew - May 8, 2011 at 5:12 PM

        Balks are quite often news.

        To the extent of a no-hitter? Not even close.

    • paperlions - May 8, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      Years? Really? You must be pretty old. There was not a no hitter in 2005, and there was a 2 year span without a no hitter from 1984 to 1986 (without a no hitter in 1985)….but the last time there was not a no hitter in back to back years was 1932 and 1933. The most during any two year span occurred in 1990-1991, when there were 14.
      .
      No hitters happen a little more often now because there are more teams and more games, but in general there are about 2/year…the last decade there have been 3,1,2,1,0,1,3,2,2,and 6 (21 total). Throughout the history of MLB, the average has been about 2/year.

  3. adeedothatswho - May 8, 2011 at 2:27 AM

    18 K’s would be much more impressive, to me anyway. As Ari mentioned, no hitters tend to be fluky. We’ve all seen many terrible pitchers achieve this ‘dominance’, while several of history’s best hurlers haven’t managed it. Verlander was very impressive today. Fantastic game. The fact he gave up no hits is secondary. Would his day have been any less impressive if Miguel Cabrera drifted too far to his right and misplayed a ball down the line? I don’t think so. No hits, five hits, a great day is a great day. The frequency with which no hitters and one hitters are popping up suggests that either the hitters are growing worse, the pitching is getting better, or no hitters aren’t as special as we would think.

  4. proudlycanadian - May 8, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    As a Jays fan, it was obvious early on that Verlander was going to have a great game. I do wonder what would have happened if the injured Jose Bautista was in the lineup.

  5. abemaslow - May 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM

    It’s not a “historical” outing. But it is a historical one. Check your stylebook.

    • abemaslow - May 8, 2011 at 8:46 PM

      Ha! Typo. It’s a historic outing, not a historical one.

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