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Justin Verlander pitches Tigers past A’s and into ALCS

Oct 12, 2012, 12:35 AM EDT

Justin Verlander Getty Images

Way too much Justin Verlander.

Detroit’s ace held down the A’s for the second time in five games Thursday, pitching a complete-game shutout and striking out 11 as the Tigers won 6-0 to move on to the ALCS.

Verlander fanned 22 in his two starts, setting a new record for strikeouts in a Divisional Series. The previous record of 21 was shared by Kevin Brown and Cliff Lee.

It was the first complete-game win for a Tigers starter in the postseason since Jack Morris completed Game 4 of the 1984 World Series.

The A’s were able to keep it close for six innings tonight, with the Tigers getting their lone two runs in the third after Austin Jackson doubled in Omar Infante and came around to score on a wild pitch.

The Tigers’ four-run seventh that settled the matter. A’s starter Jarrod Parker exited with runners on the corners and one out. Ryan Cook came in and failed to retire any of the three batters he faced, making it a 4-0 game. The Tigers got two more runs after Cook left, the first on an RBI single and the second on a Stephen Drew error.

While they were far more concerned about their own fate, the Tigers got good news from the other ALDS in the form of the Orioles’ win over the Yankees tonight. It means they still could have home-field advantage in the ALCS of Baltimore can prevail again in Game 5. And if the Yankees win instead, at least CC Sabathia will be burnt instead of getting the Game 1 start. The Tigers figure to use Doug Fister in Game 1, Max Scherzer in Game 2, Verlander in Game 3 and Anibal Sanchez in Game 4 of the ALCS.

  1. natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:43 AM

    Congrats to the Tigers for advancing. Congrats to the A’s for a remarkable and unexpected season.

  2. aceshigh11 - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    Verlander is a monster. Shades of Clemens, Johnson and Ryan in their primes.

    They don’t make pitchers like this anymore…an innings eater who still has the potential to bring 100 MPH heat even on his 110th pitch of the game.

    Just incredible.

    • philliesblow - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:00 AM

      Justin-credible!

    • normcash - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:13 AM

      You’re right aceshigh…he’s a once-in-a-generation pitcher…truly remarkable. He should
      probably get the Cy Ypung award again, but won’t I fear…in many ways this was a better
      season than last. The W-L record isn’t as good because Valverde blew a save and he got
      much less run support han in ’11….

  3. Old Gator - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:52 AM

    The Beloved As had a great run, but it was still a classic Billy Beane team with enough magic to get to the postseason but not enough to close the deal. Somewhere down the line Lew and Billy are going to have to spend a bit on some high-pwered FAs to take their team that extra mile. Fairy tales are great fun when you’re waiting for your testicles to drop, but eventually, they do tend to burst upon contact with reality.

    • butchhuskey - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:05 AM

      That might be true, Gator, but this team cannot be compared with Oakland teams of the past – those teams had actual established superstars like Eric Chavez, Miguel Tejada, and the Big Three. Although those teams may have been glorified in Moneyball, 2012 has been the real underdog story. Whereas those other Oakland teams were disappointing because they couldn’t get past the first round, every magical win that this team pulled out was unexpected and inspiring. The A’s have proven that their future is now, and if they build around their current core, they will have the chance to close the deal in the next few seasons.

      As far as the high powered free agents go, maybe Beane should keep scouting Cuban players – Cespedes is an absolute monster.

  4. beefytrout - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Honest question:

    If your season is on the line, is there anyone out there you’d rather have on the mound than Verlander?

    • natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:56 AM

      Honest answer:

      No.

      • Old Gator - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:59 AM

        Kal-El.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:15 AM

        Sorry, not getting it. You’ll have to forgive me. Still high from the sheer euphoria of witnessing a Nats’ playoff win in person. And a walk-off win, no less. Can’t get that kind of high artificially, no matter how much creative chemistry you use..

  5. natstowngreg - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    if the Tigers make the World Series, they will atart on the road. Why? In large part, because Verlander had one bad inning in a meaningless exhibition game.

    Yes, it’s possible that the Tigers could start in Washington, and I would be happy that the Nats have home field. But the rule still sucks.

    • Old Gator - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:10 AM

      Yes it does, but once Bud Light is convinced that his every laborious exchange of potassium and sodium ions along his addled axons amount to a stroke of genius, we’re stuck with it.

    • gwest40 - Oct 12, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      Actually, the Tigers would start on the road because they are in the American League. Since the National League won the All Star Game, they are granted home field advantage.

      • darthicarus - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        The NL won the All-Star Game in large part to Verlander pitching for the fans & giving up 5 runs in the 1st inning. So while you are correct breaking it down like natstowngreg did it’s pretty much Verlander’s fault…but mostly Bud Selig’s for being a dumbass.

  6. butchhuskey - Oct 12, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    I’m a Mets fan who on a whim decided to follow the A’s this season. Knowing the Mets would probably be bad again, I figured it would be ok to have a second team I could root for. The truth is that I’ve always liked Billy Beane and I was intrigued by the young players the A’s acquired in the offseason. There was always the chance they could be absolutely boring like past A’s teams, but I wanted to root for a scrappy bunch of unknowns. Little did I know that my decision to follow the team would take me on an emotional roller coaster ride and that I’d end up falling in love with this group of players. Sure, I’m still a Mets fan first and foremost, but I can’t remember a team as fun as the 2012 Oakland A’s. Whether it was their walkoff wins, Bernie lean, ability to overcome adversity, or their unlikely run to the AL West title, this year’s A’s made me appreciate the unpredictability of baseball even more. It’s bittersweet and disappointing to see this season end for them but at the same time few teams could win a series in which they had to face Verlander twice. I hope they can make some offensive upgrades at catcher and second base, and hopefully their attendance will be stronger next season. However, with that said, I want to thank the A’s for such a great season and I hope they win it all in the near future.

  7. randygnyc - Oct 12, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    Congrats to verlander and the Tigers. One game. You have to win to live. I want verlander pitching for my life.

  8. mungman69 - Oct 12, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Verlander!

  9. dannythebisforbeast - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Hahahaha. I’m a mets fan whos gonna root for another team cuz my team sucks.
    Here’s an idea muck the fets and stay with the As

    I always like the As had an uncle who always talked about when they were in Philly and how great they were under Connie Mack

  10. aceshigh11 - Oct 12, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Verlander is also dating Kate Upton.

    As Rod Stewart sang…some guys get all the luck:

  11. knackstermyea - Oct 12, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Justin Verlander is a Beast! Hope he’s able to get that elusive World Series Ring. He, if anybody, deserves it.

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