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Justin Verlander shut out the Rays for eight innings … and then lost for the first time since July

Apr 11, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

Justin Verlander AP

Justin Verlander cruised through eight shutout innings this afternoon, toying with the Rays lineup while needing just 81 pitches to record 24 outs.

And then everything unraveled in the ninth inning.

Verlander allowed three singles and a walk before being removed with one out and a 2-2 tie, but Daniel Schlereth and Jose Valverde turned that into a 4-2 loss.

By the time the Rays’ comeback was over Tigers pitchers threw 52 pitches in the inning after Verlander threw a total of 81 through eight innings.

Verlander’s final line: 8.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 7 SO … and his first regular season loss since July 15 of last season. In between losses Verlander was 12-0 with a 2.38 ERA.

As the great Ron Burgundy would say: “Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.”

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    With that offense, he’ll win 25 of the next 30 starts. And if V-Mart is back in action this Fall…holy ZOMG.

  2. indaburg - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    Verlander’s stuff was sick today. He no hit the Rays into the 5th inning as I cursed at my television. Was this the Rays’ annual no-hit game? Seems like we have one every year. Thankfully, the answer was no. Nevertheless, I was resigned to a loss in the 9th when Big V’s stuff was hitting 98-99 mph. Verlander was cruising along at 91-94 mph most of the game, and then turned up the juice at the end of the game, as he is known to do. However, today, the extra velocity may have cost him some control. Early April may be too early for him to do that. In any event, great comeback!

    • flpunx - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:14 PM

      I would LOVE to see us NOT give another pitcher the annual Rays free pass to a no hitter this season.

  3. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Apr 11, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    He must have forgotten how to win. Sutter would have pitched to the score a bit better than Verlander managed to do.

    That, or the deal Verlander and Valverde signed with Satan, saying that all of the circumstances outside of their own power would always break their way, must have had a one-year term.

  4. DCBlueStar - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:41 PM

    Wow. What resilience by the Rays! Nice gritty performance in the clutch when it mattered the most. Pick up a “W” tomorrow, and we’re in great shape.

  5. hojo20 - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    Lost in the Verlander/bullpen meltdown was a gem by James Shields.

    • flpunx - Apr 11, 2012 at 9:11 PM

      Quadruple thumbs up! James threw quite the game today. A shame it was overshadowed by Verlander. Didn’t happen to him too much last year, but I’ll take a quiet, consistent Shields effort that results in a W anyway. Gotta love Big Game James!

  6. aceshigh11 - Apr 11, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    The Burgundy quote was very well-deployed. Kudos.

  7. Tim's Neighbor - Apr 12, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    Verlander just needs to learn how to pitch to the score. Blyleven and Morris would eat this guy alive.

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