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No no-no, but Justin Verlander still incredible

May 18, 2012, 9:44 PM EDT

Justin Verlander AP

Justin Verlander had to settle for a one-hitter in Detroit’s 6-0 win over the Pirates on Friday, but that hardly takes away from his incredible run.

– The 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner is now 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA and a major league-best 0.80 WHIP this season. He also took over the league lead in strikeouts by upping his total to 68 tonight.

– He struck out 12 batters for the sixth time in his career. Half of those starts have come in the last calendar year.

– It was Verlander’s 51st consecutive start of at least six innings, the longest such streak since 2000. Mark Buehrle had a streak of 49 six-inning starts in 2004-05.

Josh Harrison was the only Pirate to have decent at-bats against Verlander tonight, so it was fitting that he broke up the no-hitter with one out in the ninth with a line drive single off a 1-2 curveball. In all, Harrison hit three of the four balls that the Pirates got out of the infield in the game.

Of course, Pittsburgh is far from an offensive juggernaut — the Pirates rank last in the majors in runs scored and it’s not even close — but Verlander probably would have shut down any lineup tonight. With two already down, one gets the impression that it’s only a matter of time before he becomes the sixth pitcher in major league history with three no-hitters under his belt.

  1. dawgpoundmember - May 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM

    It was like he was toying with them, I just can’t believe that hit was back up the middle when the pitch was so far outside and he was so far off balance.

  2. randygnyc - May 18, 2012 at 11:49 PM

    Stud. Should be a Yankee, the difference between hall of famer and immortality.

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2012 at 7:49 AM

      Whereas I can understand the Borgophobia and resentment that’s driving all those thumbs-down, Randy understands the impact of tradition and the pervasive force of the New York media in driving perception. Crack your teeth if you want, but he’s dead on.

  3. IdahoMariner - May 19, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    Kevin Millwood pitched a 2-hitter (should be a 1-hitter, seager should have had an error) at COORS FIELD.
    I expect that out of verlander (I always almost type zoolander); out of Millwood, it’s AWESOME. Did I mention it was at COORS FIELD?

  4. datdangdrewdundunituhgin - May 19, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    he’s moved it all together to the point where he can go out and just own any lineup at any time. watching him progress from even two years ago has been really exciting. his breaking ball is maybe the best in baseball, and when it’s on another level like it was tonight, guy is literally un-hittable. so glad we get to watch him every 5 days here, detroit hasn’t seen a guy this talented since…. well, since before my time.

  5. aceshigh11 - May 19, 2012 at 1:20 AM

    Verlander is a monster. We rarely see pitchers like him these days: rubber-armed, pitching deep into games without tiring, still hitting upper 90s on the fastball in the 8th and 9th innings.

    Just a total stud, as randynyc said.

    I am curious though: does anyone have any ideas as to why so few pitchers have the ability to pitch deep into games anymore? Complete games are almost unheard of nowadays, managers strictly enforce pitch counts, and an arsenal of relievers with various sub-specialties is a given for every team…

    …and yet, despite this cautious approach, it seems like almost EVERY pitcher requires arm surgery at some point, as if it’s simply the cost of doing business, almost like car maintenance.

    You didn’t see this back in the day, and I’m wondering why, especially since MLB players are better-conditioned and pay more attention to stretching, nutrition, etc.

    Any theories?

    • gpatrick15 - May 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM

      A big part of this is the constant micro-managing popularized by managers like TLR and the ongoing sabermetrics revolution.

  6. randygnyc - May 19, 2012 at 1:58 AM

    Genetics. Muscular makeup. Bone structure. Conditioning. Mental fortitude. All contributing factors. Lack in one area, your great. Lack in two areas, good. Etc. very rarely is there a guy like verlander with the complete package.

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Mechanics, mechanics, mechanics.

  7. alb81044 - May 19, 2012 at 6:04 AM

    Typical Yankee arrogance randygnc. Why do you have to be a Yankee to be immortal or great? Must not have heard of Ty Cobb. ⚾

  8. scoregasmic - May 19, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    Shut up Yankee fans JV is and always will be immortal. When he’s on the mound history get ready to be made

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      The thing I’ve noticed about most immortals is that they’ve been dead a long time.

  9. gpatrick15 - May 19, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Justin Verlander is only 29, with a 112–58 record. I think it’s a given that he’ll get close to, or surpass, 300 wins.

    • aceshigh11 - May 19, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Maybe, but it seems like the days of pitchers reaching 300 wins may be permanently over.

      As I said in my post above, teams are so cautious with their pitchers now that it’s difficult to even get 20 wins in a season, no matter how dominant their stuff may be in a given season.

      300 in a career where relief pitching is such an integral part of the game is going to be a very tall order.

      • Old Gator - May 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        And, as I observed above, some day he’ll be old and dead like the rest of us. Personally, I have no use for immortality. Anyone who wants mine can have it. Just remember to leave a nice comment about me at the foot of your urn.

  10. furysniper - May 19, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    Justin Verlander is one of those rare athletes that make you want to watch the game…just to see him. There is always a certain buzz around the city when number 35 is pitching. Thankful he is a Tiger and will be for a long time.

  11. stuckonwords - May 19, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    “He struck out 12 batters for the sixth time in his career. Half of those starts have come in the last calender years.”

    Umm…come in the last………?

    “It was Verlander’s 51st consecutive start of at least six innings, the longest such streak since 2000. Mark Buehrle had a streak of 49 six-inning starts in 2004-05.

    What does a shorter streak tell us? There’ve been lots of shorter streaks. How about, “…longest streak since Steve Carlton had 59 in the early ’80s”?

    “it was fitting that [Josh Harrison] broke up the no-hitter with one out in the ninth with a line drive single off a 1-2 curveball”

    Seriously? That was a line drive? And here all these years I thought line drives were hard-hit balls. I thought those like Harrison’s was called a “squibber” that “found a hole”.

    And for the recorder, you’d be hard to find too many no-hitters that were thrown against offensive juggernauts. All no-hitters require a combination of pitching excellence and batting futility, with a sprinkle of luck.

  12. alb81044 - May 19, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Old Gater and Randy must be cought in New York traffic jam–speaking of tradition, they must have missed the turn to go see Tiger Stadium or Comerica Park.

  13. weaselpuppy - May 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    JV threw 5 straight curves to Harrison on that at bat….his fastball could have put him away…weird pitch sequence….

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