Game 2009.114: Tigers at Red Sox

PREGAME: Talk about leaning on your ace. Justin Verlander simply has to come up big today, and that means rebounding from back-to-back 5 run outings. The Tigers faced Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz once last year and got to him for 10 hits and 5 runs. He has a WHIP of 1.97 and I hope he doesn’t “figure things out” at the Tigers expense.

Detroit vs. Boston – August 13, 2009 | Gameday

POSTGAME: He’s got a way about him. I don’t know what it is. He comes to me when I’m feeling down. He inspires me, without a sound.  He touches me…uh…well…he doesn’t do that. But man does he bring it when it needs to be brung. The he of course is Justin Verlander who donned his ace cap today and put the team on his back, or his right arm and stopped a 3 game slide pretty much on his own. He also rescued a depleted bullpen.  And it’s not the first time this year.

You may remember a similar performance against the White Sox in the front end of a double header. It stopped a slide and rescued a bullpen. And like that other game he was spectacular again. A K an inning. Blistering velocity carried past pitch 120 (96.57 mph average on the fastball today).

Ryan Raburn was the offense knocking in both runs, and 2 ended up being more than enough as Fernando Rodney pitched a completely uneventful 1-2-3 9th inning for the save.

Great bounce back game before coming home.


  1. Chris

    August 13, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    miserable four game sweep? Could see this one coming a mile away.

    • Keith (Mr. X)

      August 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm

      LOL! Looks like you can’t see anything that is a mile away.

      • Andrew

        August 13, 2009 at 4:59 pm

        Heh, heh, heh 🙂 Glad you were wrong, Chris.

  2. Brian M

    August 13, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Sorry Chris, but the Tigers win this one big. Making them one Greek tantrum from a split series.

  3. Skip

    August 13, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Verlander throwing hard early…
    Good sign?

  4. Joey in Portland Or

    August 13, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I”m not liking the start so much…

  5. Andrew in Toronto

    August 13, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Bad at bat by Cabrera. I wonder how much of the Tigers’ home-road differential can be attributed to his personal split:

    HOME OPS 1.139
    ROAD OPS 0.786

    I don’t see anybody else who is as bad…

  6. Anson

    August 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Haha the Boston announcers just described Verlander as having “Destruction in his arm”.

    Link if anyone is interested (Warning it is the Boston telecast):

    • Rich in Mt P

      August 13, 2009 at 6:53 pm

      thanks for this, Anson. Needed to do something this afternoon away from the tv 🙂

      • Anson

        August 13, 2009 at 7:26 pm

        Glad to provide a distraction. I love it how I spend my time scouring the internet for tigers links instead of finding a job and contributing to society.

  7. walter55

    August 13, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Seems like more often than naught when the Tigers are facing a pitcher coming off bad outing and having a bad year they seem to figure things out vs. the Tigers. Really need to win this one today.

    • jb61973

      August 13, 2009 at 2:37 pm

      Well, he pitched pretty well against the Yankees last time out and the guy is a stud prospect. He’s thrown a no hitter in the big leagues.

      • Mark in Chicago

        August 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

        A lot of luck is involved in throwing a no-no (Clemens and Maddux never threw one, for example), and when teams have a limited scouting report on a guy early in his career, you increase the chances of one occurring (to support what skip said about both Sanchez’).

        That’s not to say Bucholz isn’t any good, he was a highly regarded prospect, I just don’t think a no-hitter is the first thing you point to as an indication of his ability.

        • Jeff Molby

          August 14, 2009 at 2:06 am

          Indeed. Remember Andy Van Hekken’s CG SHO? It ended up being his only win. Hell of a story to tell the grandkids, though.

      • walter55

        August 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm

        He only gave up 2 runs in 6 IP to the Yankees last time but he had 6 hits and 5 BB. You average almost 2 runners an inning you are not going to have too many solid performances. He had 3 good starts in 2007 and since then in his next 20 starts he has flat out sucked. 6.75 ERA 1.76 whip .299 BAA in 2008 in 15 starts. This year in 5 starts 5.33 ERA 1.97 whip .327 BAA. But as has been an extremely frustrating theme with this team all year really crappy pitchers or pitchers with little to none MLB experience have basically shut us down too many times.

  8. Skip

    August 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Is he still a prospect?
    Anyway, he’s really good, but hopefully the Tigers can get more than 1 run off him.
    (and Anibal and Jonathan Sanchez both threw no-hitters… So, you don’t have to be great to throw one…)

  9. raind2

    August 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    Tigers got screwed on that pick off, he was out….!

    • Mark@HOU

      August 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

      To be fair…I think the umps are going for a record for most missed calls in a 4 game series.

      When you get that close to a record, you just have to go for it.

  10. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    It would be nice to get a couple more runs to back Verlander. It’s looking like he might go the distance this afternoon. Hate to waste a gem.

  11. raind2

    August 13, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    A couple runs would be huge….JV is soon to be done for the day.

  12. Andrew in Toronto

    August 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Yes, Rayburn. 2-0!

  13. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Ugly Sock People got Ra-burned!!

    • Andrew

      August 13, 2009 at 3:32 pm

      LOL 🙂

  14. Andre in Chi

    August 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Stupid GameCast has Laird hitting a homer… Reality has him popping out to Bay.

    • Matt

      August 13, 2009 at 3:32 pm

      Are you serious? It’s only 2-0?

      GameCast is giving me an ulcer.

    • Andrew in Toronto

      August 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm

      It was warning track. Does GameCast use GPS to track balls?

  15. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    The Bottom Of the Order Boys rule!

    Go B.O.O.B.s!!

    • Joey in Portland Or

      August 13, 2009 at 6:03 pm

      HA awesome!

  16. Andrew in Toronto

    August 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Leyland switched around the defence for that inning and I don’t know if Ordonez would have made the catch that Thomas just made for out #3.

  17. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    I’m liking the Inge-Raburn-Clete-Ordonez shift…and also liking the first pitch swings–clearly the Ugly Sock People fear our bullpen…

  18. ouchudied

    August 13, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I’m forced to watch this one on gamecast instead of gameday, which sucks. Because of this, I don’t know Verlander’s pitch count. Anyone want to fill me in on how many he has thrown after 7 innings?

    EDIT: I now see he has thrown 105 after 7. Hopefully the pen is up to the challenge.

  19. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    JV is at 105 through 7

  20. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Should Ol’ Smoky pull JV after the leadoff double in the 8th? I think I’d give him a chance to work out of it. If another guy gets on then I’d make the move.

  21. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    The Seay-Lyon is warming up I think Uncle Smokey has the short leash in effect

  22. ouchudied

    August 13, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    I was hoping he would pull JV after the Martinez out. Oh well. We’ll see what happens.

  23. ouchudied

    August 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Thats why I’m not a MLB manager.

  24. Andrew in Toronto

    August 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    “That fastball is ridiculous” — Eckersely on Verlander in the 8th inning.

    They were talking about him throwing hard in the early innings and saying he’d never last until the late innings. Just closed out the 8th with 99, 100, 100mph strike-out.

  25. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I said JV was gonna have to go the distance. Looks like he might be done after the 8th due to 123 pitches, but the dude just struck out Jason Bay to end the 8th inning. Do we really want to see Rollercoaster Jr. for the 9th?

    • Mike in CT

      August 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

      No. How’s that for an answer.

      • Andrew

        August 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

        I like it 🙂

    • ouchudied

      August 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      In a word, yes.

  26. Mike in CT

    August 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Verlander in the ninth?

    • Andrew

      August 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      You know my vote is a resounding yes! Sounds like Rodney is warming up though.

  27. Anson

    August 13, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Boston Announcers on JV pitching 100mph in the 8th:
    “Strikes out Bay… WOW.”
    “That’s just devastating.”

  28. colin

    August 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    goodness that’s some cheese

    • colin

      August 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

      Verlander threw 18 pitches in the eighth and they were all 4-seam fastballs.

  29. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    He blew 100 mph fastballs by their hottest hitter is what happened. Very Ace.

  30. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 13, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    The umps just missed another one, this time in our favor. Raburn swung at the 2-2 pitch.

  31. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    The Royals just wrapped a 5-4 win in Minnesota. Soria with a six out save, mowed down O.Cabrera, Mauer, and Morneau in order inthe ninth.

  32. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    C’mon Rodney. Don’t blow the JV gem. Lets get these 3 outs and get the heck outta Boston.

  33. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    Seriously, why can’t the Tigers have a closer that doesn’t cause a run on antacid at the grocery store?

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm

      That was as good a close as you’re going to see. Rodney is not Rivera or Papelbon, but I don’t think either of them could’ve done any better than Rodney did this afternoon. 1-2-3 with a strikeout and back-to-back weak groundouts. Rodney didn’t even give up a hard foul down the line. To sum it up, Rodney was flawless today at Fenway.

  34. Coleman

    August 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I like the nickname someone was using on the Free Press comments:

    Danger Rodneyfield

  35. Kevin in Dallas

    August 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    JV’s not smiling quite as much as he was a few min ago…come on FR.

  36. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Inge the defensive replacement gettin’ er done. 1 more out please & then hop on the plane back to Detroit.

  37. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    YAY!!! Tigers avoid the sweep! Rodney makes the most interesting 1-2-3 innings doesn’t he?

    • Andrew in Toronto

      August 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

      He also must be the least appreciated closer who has a 24/25 record in save opportunities.

      I know he blew some big ones last year and has some rough games this year, but generally I like him.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        August 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm

        Good point Andrew. I think everyone outside of MN & the Bronx are generally unhappy with their closer.

        I was listening to the Rangers post game report last night and the calls that were coming in were eerily similar to the posts we see here. Hitting is terrible, pitching is gonna fall apart soon, here comes the 2nd half slide, etc.

        Point is that fans are never happy unless the team goes 162-0. Rodney gives me heart palpitations, but I’d be content with a worse performance. Up to this point the team has played above where we all thought it would, so let’s just bask in the mediocrity of the AL Central and enjoy.

        (one more note – I caught today’s Bos pre-game and the color guy had a few choice words for the AL Central. Basically he said that Bos winning the first 3 wasn’t a big deal b/c the AL Central is so bad. Hard to argue with him. Is it just me, or are the Tigers scared of NYY and Bos? I’m glad Porcello punked Youkilis. Not right for this guy to post the video on Youtube (MLB rights) – but check out the comments:

        • Mark in Chicago

          August 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm

          “Point is that fans are never happy unless the team goes 162-0.”

          I disagree completely. I would be satisfied with 161-1. Maybe even 160-2, provided neither of the losses were to the White Sox.

    • billfer

      August 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm

      I don’t know. It was a 1-2-3 inning. He fell behind 3-1 to Ortiz, but otherwise it wasn’t even that nerve wracking. I don’t know what else could have hoped for.

      • colin

        August 13, 2009 at 4:40 pm

        You know how jealousy isn’t actually about other people, it’s about you? Same goes with rollercoaster closers.

        • Andrew

          August 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm

          I’m not arguing with the results – he just makes things interesting is all. Never said I didn’t like him.

          • Jerry the Tiger Fan

            August 14, 2009 at 2:29 am

            How does one define today’s ninth inning as interesting? Rodney struck out Ortiz and then got Lowell and whoever the next guy was (name is escaping me) on weak grounders. There was nothing “interesting” about the ninth inning today. A lot of nights ROdney will make you sweat in the ninth, but what exactly did he do wrong to make any Tiger fan sweat today? He never even allowed the tying run to come to the plate, not even a hard hit foul ball. Man, some people are hard to please. I thought I was hard to please, but man alive I guess some are even tougher to please than I am.

  38. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Great Win!!!
    Verlander is a beast.

  39. Mark in Chicago

    August 13, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    There are a lot of good pitchers in baseball, but I don’t know that I’d trade Verlander straight up for any of them.

    Good stuff all around.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 13, 2009 at 4:43 pm

      Not sure if I’d go that far, but I agree Verlander is among the best in the game at his position as of 2009. I would trade him straight up for Beckett or Lincecum, but that’s about it off the top of my head. That being said, I hope Verlander is a Tiger for life. He is a stud and is my second favorite Tiger behind Granderson (even though I will admit that Verlander is “better” than Granderson). I would love it if Granderson and Verlander play their entire MLB careers in Detroit. They would both likely retire as legends in the state of Michigan if that happens, especially if they are ever part of a World Championship in Detroit.

      • RPS

        August 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm

        I wouldn’t trade him for Beckett, with his injury history. Same for Johan. Lincy, in a second. Greinke, needs more time. Halladay, too old. King Felix is a hard one to decide. That’s probably about it.

        • scotsw

          August 14, 2009 at 9:30 am

          I think Sabathia should be in that conversation. Halladay, too. I wouldn’t trade JV for either of them, but they’re in that echelon of pitchers. No-doubt aces.

      • Mark in Chicago

        August 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm

        I hear you on Beckett or Lincecum, and those are both terrific pitchers. But I don’t think either of those guys are BETTER than JV; that was my point. Lincecum might be, but until he pitches in the big boy league, we’ll never really know for sure.

        • Chris in Dallas

          August 13, 2009 at 10:03 pm

          It’s an interesting question. Based on pure “stuff”, I think there’s Felix, Verlander, Lincecum and then everyone else. If I had to pick one guy to win Game 7 of the World Series I might have to go with Beckett, though. He’s got the guts of a burglar, as they say. Johan’s lost a bit, but a couple of years ago he was the best in the game, but now he’s on the wrong side of 30.

  40. Kevin in Dallas

    August 13, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Good Rodney. Thank you JV. Let’s sweep KC.

  41. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    I was just following online, but that has to be one of the best performances of Verlander’s career.

  42. RPS

    August 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    Thank you, Verlander.
    Thank you, Rodney.

    Net result of this wretched series: .5 games lost to White Sox, 0 games lost to Minnesota. Very nice. The 5-1 homestand coming up will cure a lot of ills.

    • Jerry the Tiger Fan

      August 13, 2009 at 4:37 pm

      Actually we lost a .5 game to both of our pursuers. When the Tigers woke up in Boston Monday morning, we had a 3 game lead over Chicago and 5.5 over Minnesota. We lost 3 out of 4 while they both lost two out of three: net result is that they both picked up a .5 game on us. However, considering how awful the series at Fenway was we got a big break. Getting the Royals to win two out of three at the HorrorDome is big. I’m not surprised that the White Sox dropped two of three in Seattle because Safeco has been one of “those” parks for the White Sox in recent years. They have now lost 13 of their last 20 at Safeco, going back to 2006.

      • Mark in Chicago

        August 13, 2009 at 5:39 pm

        Sox going to Oakland next, where they are just as bad, if not worse. Good chance against KC to pick up a game or two (although Grienke vs. Washburn does not have me excited).

        I checked the schedule, the Sox are about to embark on the toughest part of their season. Starting next Friday they play 10 straight against the AL East, including 7 straight on the road against Boston and NY. Then it’s 3 straight in the Metrodome after those two series, followed by a Cubs makeup game and 4 at home against Boston again. That is brutal. Our schedule is tough too, with 7 games against TB, but we mix Cleveland and KC in there also. Good chance to gain some ground, but we have to do better on the road.

      • RPS

        August 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm

        My bad. I thought the KC/Min series was four games for some reason.

  43. Jud

    August 13, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    thank you for taking this team on that right arm of yours……brilliant pitching today….we knew the Tigers would get 0-1-or 2.. Who would have thought that would be plenty…WOW

  44. Jerry the Tiger Fan

    August 13, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Nice. TIGERS WIN!!!! 2.5 up on ChiSox and 5 on the Twins. We only lost a .5 game to our two pursuers despite an awful week in Boston. That is big. Special tip of the cap goes out to Francona for sending his “B” lineup out there today against our ace. No Pedroia, no Drew, and no offense for Boston. They still had Bay, Lowell, and Ortiz but no question Francona made it a little easier for Veralnder today. Maybe he felt bad for his buddy Jim Leyland, but I’m not gonna question it. Its just nice to see a manager other than Leyland run a “B” lineup out there and get punished for it.

    My three stars in the win:

    1. Justin Verlander: Obviously with eight strong shutout innings with 8 Ks.
    2. Ryan Raburn: Both Tiger RBIs and the only Tiger to clear the Green Monster this week.
    3. Fernando Rodney: No drama, just an easy 1-2-3 inning. Strikeout, weak grounder, weak grounder. Nary a hard hit ball, not even a hard foul ball. Exactly what you want from your closer. Very solid close by Rodney who had not pitched since Sunday vs. the Twins.

    • Andrew

      August 13, 2009 at 5:04 pm

      Plus the Tigers get to come home to play the Kansas City Royals. Tigers have had their way with them this year & hopefully it continues.

  45. Tbone

    August 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Studly performance from Verlander just when the Tigers needed him the most.

  46. Slashpyne

    August 13, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Big Win!

  47. Keith (Mr. X)

    August 13, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    After this series, I’m pretty sure that we could beat Boston in a best of 7 series.

    In the playoffs I don’t think the umpiring will be this bad.

    Boston won’t be starting fights and getting our starting pitcher ejected.

    Leyland will also be thinking about winning now instead having some insurance left on the bench.

  48. Tbone

    August 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    This series easily could have been 3-1 the other way, save the worst at bat of the season in Game 1 and beanball in Game 2.

  49. Kevin in Dallas

    August 13, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    re: Porcello v. Youkilis.

    My link up top didn’t work, so I’ll repost here. Make sure you check out the comments.

    I’d like to see Avila straight up v. Youk. We already know Porcello can pin him. Next time we play Box, we’d better see plenty of well thought out signs at the games.

    • scotsw

      August 14, 2009 at 9:35 am

      The clip has now been deleted, along w/ comments.

      • Kevin in Dallas

        August 14, 2009 at 10:49 am

        Bummer. They all had the same tone “Youkilis missed badly with his helmet from close range, and then got punked by a guy half his size.” Just a little more color in the language. Good stuff.

  50. Vince in MN

    August 13, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    In KC’s win over MN today they scored all 5 runs against Pavano. What have they got that we ain’t got?

    • Jud

      August 13, 2009 at 11:08 pm


  51. Andrew

    August 13, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Why isn’t the FSN replay in HD???

    • Chauncey

      August 13, 2009 at 7:38 pm

      Because the game wasn’t even broadcast in HD. Is it me, or does the FSN HD schedule make no sense whatsoever (at least on dishnetwork)? Last night they broadcast in HD, then today, hardly 12 hours later, the games in SD? It seems like hardly half of the games are broadcast in HD, and its worse for road games.

      • billfer

        August 13, 2009 at 8:43 pm

        Oooh. I can answer this one. There are a bunch of factors involved in providing an HD telecast. Virtually all of the home games are in HD. The only ones that haven’t been are when there were Red Wings/Pistons conflicts in the spring…and the make up of the rained out White Sox game.

        For road games the biggest factor is availability of HD transmission equipment. If it is another Fox Sports city, this typically isn’t an issue. But like Cleveland for example, that is now Sportstime Ohio and there isn’t enough HD transmission equipment.

        Another factor is that all of the Fox Sports Regional networks have to share HD transmission and there is a certain allotment that gets divided up. So there’s a lot that goes into whether or not it is an HD broadcast.

        HD broadcasts also cost more which is why the replays are in SD.

  52. Anson

    August 13, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    “The Tigers said after the game they would option right-hander Freddy Dolsi to Triple-A and call up right-hander Eddie Bonine.”

    Am I missing something or did we just call up Dolsi to sit on the bench for a game or two? Did he even to come to Fenway?

    • Kevin in Dallas

      August 13, 2009 at 7:42 pm

      He got drilled yesterday. Bonine on Sunday.

      • Anson

        August 13, 2009 at 8:44 pm

        Oh alright I missed the game yesterday. I saw the score and decided that if I didn’t read about it then I could pretend it never happened.

  53. Chris in Dallas

    August 13, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Is it OK that I have a man-crush on JV right now? Geez, what a start that one was. Although I guess we should be getting used to it by now.

  54. Dr Detroit

    August 14, 2009 at 12:21 am

    I don’t think that series was a disaster but it could have been. They could have won game one and that was a terrific baseball game. They would have won game two if not for the Sux cheating ways, and they got a great outing from Justin today and a couple of timely Ryan Raburn hits. That’s right, Ryan Raburn got more than one hit in a game and they were both HUGE.

    Anyway Washburn needs to show up for his next few starts and the team needs to get a few hot bats.

  55. David Razawi

    August 14, 2009 at 4:41 am

    Verlander was super but am I missing something on the bullpen? Lyon didn’t pitch the entire series (thanks to Leylands odd decision to go with Miner in the tie game), the guys ERA is under 1 his last 30 apperances since using the cut fastball. Wasn’t he available for 2 or even 3 innings?

    Rodney didn’t pitch at all either, he didn’t look too tired. Seay threw 1 unstressful inning. I know Miner wasn’t available which I am sure disappointed nobody but Leyland but is your bullpen depleted if your top3 guys had 1 apperance for 1 inning in the last 3 days? Rodney and Lyon both had 1 outing in the last 5 days, Seay had 2 for less than 2 innings.

    Personally I would have preferred seeing Lyon in the 8th, IMHO he was well rested and could use the work, Boston isn’t very good at the plate I am sure he could hold them just fine. Verlander normally gets in trouble over 105 pitches and it was great he was throwing 100 on pitch 123 and all but I think he only has so many bullets in the gun there and we have been riding him in situations we really don’t need to. I just think we are running the risk of burning him out if we do make the playoffs like CC is every year.

    • scotsw

      August 14, 2009 at 9:40 am

      Rodney had the save in Game 4 — 1-2-3 inning.

      There was no chance to use Lyon in game 2 or 3 (too wide a margin), and Lyon wasn’t really available in Game 1, if my memory serves.

  56. MCM

    August 14, 2009 at 7:27 am

    I like it when I’ve got other plans and I’m unable to watch the Tiger games…wins are satisfying and the losses are much easier to stomach.

  57. Bobber

    August 14, 2009 at 11:38 am

    Old schoolers gotta love Leyland’s “pitch counts? we don’ need no steenkeen pitch counts” approach.

    • KW

      August 14, 2009 at 12:10 pm

      I like it, but only if the pitchers are being conditioned to throw that many pitches. From the looks of it, JV is probably doing a lot of long toss, which would be good. I mean seriously, 96.57 mph average on his fastball? Hitting 100 on the gun in the 8th inning? Or maybe he’s just a freak.

    • RPS

      August 14, 2009 at 12:29 pm

      Not fond of it myself, but this game was a great example of when it’s worth leaving a guy in for 125 pitches.

  58. mike

    August 14, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    I feel like Verlander should be in the conversation as the top pitcher in the AL. Beckett, Halladay with Greinke and King Felix seem to be mentioned. By my eyes, Verlander is the front runner for AL CY Young (even if ESPN CY Young predictor has him below Aardsma – Asrdsma!! – Since his first four starts of the year, he’s 13 – 4 with 2.65 ERA over 21 starts. He has 11.1 K/9 IP rate over those starts. Overall he has 13 starts where he’s given up 2 or less ER and pitched at least 7 IP. Plus 6 starts where he’s given up 0 ERs and pitched at least 7 IP.

    • Coleman

      August 14, 2009 at 1:18 pm

      The crystal ball says Beckett wins the Cy Young…but take heart, in something of a shock Verlander is named the AL MVP, becoming the first pitcher since Eckersley to win the award.

      OK, it’s actually just a bowling ball. But I swear I see things in it…

    • KW

      August 14, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      I think the model for the Cy Young predictor is a little off because it assigns so many points to saves. How many relief pitchers have actually won the Cy Young? Nine. So why does this model give 2.5 points per save? It seems kind of silly.

      If you, take Aardsma and Rivera out of the equation, JV is in the top five. But I don’t think he has a significant chance at winning this year unless he somehow manages to get his ERA down to about 2.50 and wins close to 20 games.

  59. mike

    August 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I agree that you need to throw out relievers (although Riviera remains a statisical freak), so let’s examine AL starters. Halladay is model of consistancy – only 2 starts with less than 7 IP and only 3 starts giving up 5 or more ER. But he lacks the dominance factors like ‘big wins’ or high strike out games (only 2 starts with double digits Ks). Additionally, Halladay has 11 starts where he went at least 6 IP and gave up 2 ER or less.

    Verlander – and Beckett – have been much less consistent (both have 7 starts of 5+ ERs) but Verlander has been slightly more ‘dominant’ (Verlander has 13 starts – Beckett 11 – of 2 ER or less; Verlander 5 double digit K games and Beckett has 2).

    But, now that I look at more closely, King Felix is having the most dominant year. He’s had 5 starts where he’s given up 5+ ERs, but an amazing 16 starts where he’s given up 2 or less ER.