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With game called, Justin Verlander sees long streak end

Jul 31, 2012, 11:22 PM EDT

Justin Verlander Getty Images

Already perhaps done anyway, Justin Verlander‘s streak of 63 straight starts of at least six innings came to an end Tuesday when the Tigers-Red Sox game was delayed by rain and then called in the top of the sixth.

Ironically, Verlander got a complete game for his effort in the 4-1 loss to Boston.

Verlander was off right from the start, but he escaped with a scoreless first after throwing 35 pitches in the frame. The Red Sox got to him for all four runs in the fourth, a frame in which he even walked in a run. The Tigers had a reliever up in the pen in the fourth, and given that he was at 107 pitches after five, he really shouldn’t have come back out for the sixth anyway.

Verlander’s previous start of less than six innings took place on Aug. 17, 2010, when he gave up three runs in five innings and walked five in a loss to the Yankees. His streak of six-plus innings start was the third longest during the expansion era, trailing only Bob Gibson (78) and Steve Carlton (69). The next longest streak since 2000 belonged to Mark Buehrle, with 49 straight for the White Sox in 2004-05.

  1. wildbob - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    The Tigers had the bases loaded when the game was called. What a terrible way to lose a game.

    • Matt Aromando - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      It seemed like the umpires were going to let Morales face just one more batter no matter the outcome, umpires made the Tigers’ situation home run or bust.

  2. chibimike - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    What a crock of crap game. It was raining constantly from the start. The pitchers couldn’t hold the ball, they did nothing to maintain the field. They get in enough innings to for it to count, then call the game over. Poorly handled waste of a game.

    • Matt Aromando - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      I agree it was raining from the start, I agree that Verlander couldn’t hold the ball, but what’s this about an unmaintained field?

      • chibimike - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        I didn’t see any sign they put field dry on the mud. The pitchers were pitching from a mud mound, scraping their cleats after every pitch.

  3. dawgpoundmember - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Didn’t he start game 1 of the ALDS last year in which he was pulled during the rain delay after pitching an inning or two? So did the streak only count for regular season games?

  4. teaspoon1731 - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    As a Sox fan, wooo sneak win!

    As a baseball fan, that really blows.

  5. bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I think that’s a fairly idiotic determination in terms of his streak ending because whether or not he got to pitch 6 Innings was completely out of his hands and his Manager’s hands.

    As far as I’m concerned his streak is still alive . . . in games that go at least 6 complete Innings or more.

    • taxed00 - Aug 1, 2012 at 8:31 AM

      I think he’s lucky he lost it this way, in the sense that at least he has a good excuse for it ending. Even if he went back out for the 6th, there’s no guarantee he could have gotten through the inning. 107 pitches through 5 and he couldn’t find the zone all game, how many times have you seen Justin Verlander give up a walk to load the bases and then proceed to walk in a run?

    • Matt Aromando - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:26 AM

      If he was pitching more Verlander-esque, he might have made it through 6 before the game was called but like taxed00 said, 107 pitches through 5 innings (while giving up 4 runs). If he was cruising along, I’d be upset the streak ended that way too, but he wasn’t so the streak deserved to end.

    • bigleagues - Aug 1, 2012 at 10:45 AM

      I agree with the points both Taxed and Matt are making, but I want to emphasize that I wouldn’t recognize the streak ending.

      I get that he made 107 Pitches and it was a rainy, wet night and as a result there is a good chance he was done after 5 anyhow . . . but Verlander has gone far more than 107 pitches on countless occasions and really, we just don’t know what would have happened in the 6th because it never happened.

      If the game had gone 6 Innings, and Verlander didn’t come out to pitch the 6th, then it’s streak over.

      But the game didn’t go 6 Innings, it was called after 5 complete Innings due to weather. So Verlander was denied the opportunity to pitch in the 6th because the game only went 5 Innings.

      Thus, logically, it shouldn’t follow that his streak is over because he could not have gone out for the 6th.

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