Verlander says no-no

Verlander's No-No
I wish I could type up something poetic or dramatic or chuck full of literary goodness. I don’t really have that in me, and I don’t think I could muster it right now anyways. But watching this unfold was a thing of beauty. Justin Verlander was good in the first inning, and better in the 9th. His defense helped him of course, but with strikeouts accounting for 12 of the 27 outs, he certainly didn’t overtax them. A triple digit fastball, a sharp curve, and a masterful change-up had a pretty good Brewers offense shaking their heads after flailing helplessly at the plate.

Selfishly, I could care less about the Tigers offense tonight. Brandon Inge was great again, and Curtis Granderson added his 13th triple (and only his 3rd at home), but mostly I just wanted to see Verlander take the mound. The 7th and 8th innings when the Tigers were up only served to help me catch my breath and sigh before moving back to the edge of my seat. I was doing the mental out count down starting in the 5th. “There’s number 14, half way home.” I cursed Bill Hall as he saw pitch after pitch and earned walk after walk. I was thinking that if anyone broke it up, it would be Hall – or worse yet he’d run Justin’s pitch count up too high to finish.

And yet in the 8th inning when Hall walked, it was the much maligned Neifi Perez who cut down Hall at second base on a fabulous play before Placido Polanco turned over the double play, saving Justin a few more pitches, and a little more energy.

Not that Justin needed more energy, he was feeding off the crowd that stood when Justin stood and didn’t sit down until they got in their cars to go home. Verlander reached back and hit 102 on the FSN gun at around pitch number 109. After hanging an 87mph curve on pitch number 111 he took a moment for a walk behind the mound. Dan Dickerson later asked if it was to soak in the moment, which was my first thought as well. But it was just so Verlander could harness his adrenaline before throwing pitch 112 which sealed history as it nestled into Magglio Ordonez’s glove. History. Awesome.

Some other thoughts that didn’t fit in the narrative:

  • Magglio Ordonez who gets hammered for his defense, has really been pretty good this year and a diving grab rescued a liner from a fate on the turf. Probably the closest threat to a hit in the game.
  • I flipped on the radio in the 9th, and if you missed it Dan Dickerson was money. He conveyed the moment without spelling it all out. People knew the situation, they could hear the crowd. Jim Price pretty much stayed out of the way, and Dickerson carried us on the tension in his voice. I’m not saying this just because Dan’s been nice enough to do some interviews for the site, but he is a very very very good broadcaster.
  • I love watching the emotion from Dave Dombrowski, and I love the fact that he keeps score during a game. The fact he’s a fan, just like the rest of us, I find to be very endearing.
  • This was Pudge’s 2nd no hitter after catching Kenny Rogers perfect game in 1994.
  • This was home plate umpire Ron Kulpa’s first no hitter. I thought he was quite good, but a called 3rd strike to Craig Counsell to start the game appeared off the plate. That set up a pretty big strike zone that Verlander used to his advantage. And he threw the same pitch to Counsell in the 9th with the same result.

A listing of all no-hitters.

44 thoughts on “Verlander says no-no”

  1. Well, we can now say that Neifi Perez provided us with one unforgetable moment during his tenure in Detroit. Neifi’s feed to Polanco was pretty darn good, and Polanco’s pivot and throw were nothing short of amazing.

  2. Hey Heckler, who knows? Maybe Heckler Jr. will throw the next Tiger no-hitter.

    “Watching this thing unfold was a thing of beauty.” Truer word was never spoken, Billfer. That’s all the poetry we need.

  3. Oops, OK, that last post was from me. I didn’t realize my son had been at my computer. Uh oh…..

  4. I was there. What a rush!!!

    I was thinking no hitter in the 2nd. In the 3rd, my 13 year-old cousin wanted to go to the concession stand and I stared at the TV because I didn’t want to miss a pitch.

    Verlander had incredible stuff. What a blast!

  5. Two great (additional) results of this gem:

    1. Justin’s confidence just got a giant boost. No need to worry too much about harnessing it for the post-season.

    2. We’re back in 1st place!

  6. I knew something was going to happen tonight after watching game day at work. I couldn’t wait to get home from work…the one thing this Detroiter hates about being in Alaska; games come on early. I was excited as my wfie required me to sit at the dinner table while in the 6th inning. Dinner went down fast and back to the computer to watch the game. I could not wait to watch JV pitch in the ninth and didn’t want a big long 8th inning for him to cool down. The whole family watched the final few batters and I was standing at each pitch. The wife and I were talking and I commented that both Tiger no-hitters than happened in my lifetime I was able to watch both on TV. What a great feeling. It will be nice to rub it in to my Red Sox fan co-worker tomorrow that JV was able to do what his team couldn’t. The indians losing was even better. All these Indians fans that I know here will hear from me tomorrow!

  7. Oh, just remembered I have a co-worker who is a Brewer fan and he gave me trash last year when we lost a single game against them. I’m looking forward to work in the AM.

  8. I had the luck to see this game in person from section 116 row 8 and it was by far the greatest game I have ever witnessed. I drove 3 hours from columbus, ohio to see an interleague mid-june game that I thought would consist of some offensive spark and a lot of sea gulls. Instead I got to watch a masterful performance by a very young, talented pitcher, who was backed up by some terrific plays in the field and a little bit of offensive help from Inge, Grandy, and Sheff. I just finished the drive back to columbus and wanted to leave my thoughts as I’m not sure I will ever have the opportunity to witness such an awesome moment like this again. The crowd was great throughout, and as the game progressed everyone new what could happen but no one wanted to say anything to put on the “jinx”. Through the 7th and 8th, we all realized this might actually happen, and as Justin took the mound in the 9th EVERYONE was on their feet cheeing. I stood 20 minutes after Ordonez caught the final out just amazed at what I had witnessed. I don’t leave comments often but I felt I needed to express this. Thanks for the great site Bilfer. And thanks to JV for letting me experience a once in a lifetime show of greatness. Go Tigers!

  9. i listen to most every game on the radio (no cable) and i couldn’t agree more, dan is the man. great call. great moment.

  10. One tidbit of history on the man who pitched the last No-Hitter in Detroit, Virgil Trucks. He pitched two no-hitters that year (1952) to give him 2 of his 5 wins.

    The poor guy went 5-19 that year.

  11. View from across the lake – Chicago baseball is in such a state that Verlander about to be gobbled up by Pudge was lead on the Trib sports page in four color. Page two had a full story from John Lowe. Sure its a Cubbies paper (Detroit beating Milwaukee can do nothing but help) but it really has to grind some of the fans here. I love it.

  12. And one of the best results from this game is reading all these comments from all you young people. You’ll have your own legenday stories to share with your children and grandchildren now just like my generation did. The Tigers team and Justin Verlander have returned the love for baseball to the next and newest generation.

    My son just called me from one of his delivery stops in Lansing and all I could hear was screaming and loud talking in the background. He said it’s the talk of the town everywhere he’s been today.

  13. Anne: June 12th, 2007 at 10:57 pm
    Hey Heckler, who knows? Maybe Heckler Jr. will throw the next Tiger no-hitter.

    Anne – Hey, I’d first settle for the baby coming out male (we don’t know the sex yet) and THEN if he actually becomes a ballplayer – and THEN – lucky enough to make the bigs and toss a no-no? Pure icing on the cake.

    But that kid REALLY does owe me one!! ;-}

  14. I agree, Kathy. There’s an entire generation of us under-30 folks (probably could add a year or two to that) who were too young to remember 1984 or possibly remember the details of a no hitter thrown during it. It was a real, real, real thrill to experience and to see others feeling the same wave of emotional release.

  15. My church league softball team played a double-header last night that didn’t end until almost 10pm. I can’t believe I missed listening/watching this game.

    Just reading the newspaper articles and watching the final out at gave me goosebumps.

    When I saw the leading headline at I yelled “Aww, man!” I was extremely happy, yet sad that I missed it.

  16. I missed this game last night. I’m watching the replay right now. I really really really really wish I could’ve scene it live. I remember watching Randy Johnson’s perfect game on TBS against the Braves and how much I was pulling for him, but Verlander’s would’ve gotten me all choked up I think had I saw it live on television.

    And the note about Dombrowski is interesting. That is awesome that he keeps score, I don’t see any other GM’s doing that (that I’ve noticed, at least).

  17. Oh my god. I saw the highlights of Neifi’s play but it just happened on the replay and I just got a minute-long full on set of the chills. That was amazing.

  18. Just amazing! His Curveball was nasty so was the CU.

    I was at work:(… but after we were done our shoot. I ran to the truck and checked the scored. Thank god the truck has Cable T.V. and internet!:P

    Great feeling!…Thanks Justin.

  19. Amazing stuff. I missed the game last night, but I intend to watch on tonight and pretend as though I don’t know what’s going to happen. 😉

    Looks like there’s a little magic left for this year after all….

  20. I watched the game on TV. I was almost going to root against the no hitter because I was scared Rod Allen would have an aneurism out of excitment.

  21. Wow. That was just amazing. Absolutely amazing. Neifi Perez can be painfully mediocre the rest of his tenure in Detroit and I’ll always remember that play from now on. Unreal.

    How great has the last year and a third been for Tigers baseball? My top 10 memories of Tigers baseball are generally all based around the last year and a third. So, so awesome.

  22. Someone posted the final 3 outs on YouTube – watch it here

    I got chills just watching.

    And this as well –

    Watch a video montage of all 27 outs here

    Neifi – you have earned some “playing time capital” with me after watching that stellar play. Wow!

    Ordonez’s sliding catch wasn’t too bad either. Nice!

    Was it just me or were they playing the theme music from “The Natural” after the game at Comerica Park?

  23. I tried posting a couple links to some video of the game on YouTube, but Billfer’s spam filter must have nabbed it.

    Do yourself a favor and search for “justin verlander no hitter” on YouTube. There is a video of FSN’s coverage of the last 3 outs as well as a montage of all 27 outs.

    Too cool.

  24. Yes, they were playing music from “The Natural”. We half-expected light towers to start exploding. 🙂

  25. Sadly, I didn’t get to see this game live…. (moreover, one of few I’ve missed this year) but I was following the game, in an unusual way. A friend of mine had tickets to the Yankees/Diamondbacks game, so I accepted. The Yankee game was a slow, uneventful affair — it didn’t mean too much to me, except for the love of baseball (ohh how I wish I stayed at home to witness Verlander hurl this little piece of history instead of dragging my unlucky butt to the Bronx).

    All during the Yankee game I kept looking up at the scoreboard to the Tigers/Brewers score… first it was 1-0 in the third, then 3-0 in the sixth, then 4-0 in the seventh. I keep thinking to myself, “Verlander must be throwing a gem!” When the score was still 4-0 in the eighth, I started to get extremely curious…. no longer was I thinking about the inevitable quality start from Verlander, but I was actually beginning to think something “special” might be going on in MoTown. The game in Detroit was progressing so fast…. Certainly a shutout, but maybe even a one-hitter, or a no-hitter?? (No disrespect intended to the bullpen, but I absolutely expected to see a 4-1, or even 4-2 score after eight innings).

    When I saw the 4-0 score after nine innings, I was absolutely convinced Verlander was in the midst of pitching a complete game, perhaps something entirely historical. Leyland must be letting him finish it off, I thought, for whatever the reason. (Again, no disrepsect to the bullpen, but the game was simply moving too fast to support any other theory, and the goose-egg in runs for the Brewers simply over-ruled any probable scenario involving the bullpen).

    The 4-0 final score sealed the deal in my imagination. Even if Jones came in, and even if he didn’t allow a run (which didn’t seem likely to me) the game couldn’t possibly be over so soon. Jones may have wiggled out of his usual jam or two with no runs, but only after a walk or two here, a bloop hit there, etc., etc. I knew right then Verlander had pitched a complete game shutout. The dreamer I am, I began envisioning the ensuing no-hitter celebratory fanfare at Comerica, even as I filed out of Yankee stadium amid scores of drunken Yankee fans elated to win their seventh straight victory.

    Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to find out just what happened in Detroit. On the drive to my suburban Long Island home, I flipped through the radio station to tune into the Met game, hoping to learn just went down in MoTown.

    I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!!!!

  26. Oops! Looks like Bill unlocked the anti-spam gates and my previous post with the video links came charging through. 🙂

  27. Actually, JV left his changeup way up in the zone A LOT. There’s always some luck involved in these things. It was a great performance, the greatest part, I thought, was the harnessing of his emotions in the last few innings. How many young pitchers could have controlled their adrenaline enough to complete a no-hitter?

  28. I had this game on my tivo and my fiance wanted to record it to DVD. He accidentally deleted it from our tivo and he’s so devastated! Does anyone have it on their tivo still?

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