Home > Uncategorized > Justin Verlander: Just Another No-Hit Attempt, But Carried Through

Justin Verlander: Just Another No-Hit Attempt, But Carried Through

The Tigers decided to dump ice water all over Verlander during this interview. Thus, that guy on the left will always be remembered for conducting his most important interview to date with pieces of ice resting ever-so comfortably on his head. They look like tiny golf balls in the first cut of rough

I don’t want to downplay what Justin Verlander did Saturday.

OK, I will for just a few seconds.

The lineup Toronto sent at Verlander wasn’t exactly reminiscent of the ’27 Yankees. Verlander missed Aaron Hill and Jose Bautista, both of whom returned Sunday after dealing with injury. Adam Lind was forced to leave in the middle of the game because of back tightness, so Justin didn’t have to deal with three of Toronto’s most dangerous bats for the majority of his day. Still, he topped out at 101 MPH, and his last fastball in the ninth inning hit 100. Clearly, he had good enough stuff to stifle a Blue Jays lineup at full strength, much less what they presented Saturday.

Verlander is now one of 23 pitchers ever to throw multiple no-nos. Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay are the only other active pitchers to be a part of that small club. It is just the fifth no-hitter to take place in Canada in MLB history. It was the second to occur in Toronto. Two took place at Olympic Stadium and one more happened at Jarry Park Stadium, the Montreal Expos’ home before moving to Stade Olympique.

But more interesting to me than Toronto’s lineup, Verlander’s velocity or his place in history is just how many no-hit warnings have been issued during the first five weeks of this season. Verlander and Francisco Liriano were able to go the distance within four days of each other, but the number of close calls has been pretty remarkable.

At one point Saturday, there were decent odds of having two no-hitters on one day. Yovani Gallardo had allowed no hits through seven innings before a lead-off single up the middle from the Cardinals’ Daniel Descalso in the eighth. Earlier this week, the tables were turned as Jaime Garcia carried a perfect game into the eighth against Milwaukee.

April 1: Josh Johnson goes a full six innings without allowing a hit to the Mets.

April 13: Josh Johnson gets one out into the eighth before a Freddie Freeman double breaks up his no-hit effort versus Atlanta.

April 22: Another Marlin, Anibal Sanchez, went into the ninth against the Rockies with a no-no before a lead-off, seeing-eye single from Dexter Fowler.

April 24: Guess who? Two days later, Josh Johnson retired two batters in the sixth against the Rockies before giving up a hit — a Fowler double.

May 6: The Braves’ Derek Lowe didn’t allow a hit to the Phillies until the seventh inning. Lowe’s outing, plus the fact that he won, overshadowed Cliff Lee’s 16 strikeouts through seven innings.

That’s nine games this season in which a pitcher didn’t give up a hit through at least 5.2 innings. Through the same amount of regular-season days last season, there had been eight such occurrences. If 2010 was the year of the pitcher, what happens now?

Part deux?

UPDATE: Make it 10. Sanchez held the Nationals without a hit for six innings today. Laynce Nix then led off the seventh with a single. Marlins pitchers, like cute bartenders, are just a bunch of flirts.

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