When Jim Leyland said he was going to put Justin Verlander on a strict, but undisclosed pitch count today, who thought it would be 120? It probably is a few more than Jim would have liked, but when you have a pitcher as in control as Verlander was today, 120 doesn’t seem to be a stretch at all.
By the numbers
The numbers really do tell a story of how dominant Verlander was today:
- 23 – The number of consecutive hitters Verlander retired after Torii Hunter singled in the first inning.
- 82% – The rate at which Verlander racked up first pitch strikes
- 9 – The pitches that Verlander threw from the stretch. It’s safe to say he wasn’t pitching under duress.
- 4 – The number of times Verlander went to a 3 ball count. He didn’t walk any batters.
- 3 – The hits allowed.
- 72% – Verlander’s strike rate for the day
That’s pretty much as good as it gets and not a moment too soon.
The bottom of the order led the charge today and 5 runs proved to be more than enough. The bottom 4 in the lineup went 5 for 14 and set the table for Austin Jackson who does what Austin Jackson does. He gets a hit or strikes out. Five ABs, 3 hits, 2 strike outs. It really is incredible.
- Alex Avila reached base 3 times. I’m not sure what was more impressive, his rope double down the line or the 8 pitch walk he worked in the 8th.
- Brennan Boesch continues to hit and picked up another double. Boesch has been mashing first pitch fastballs since getting called up. This time though he jumped on a first pitch slider. It was nice to see the adjustment for the youngster.
- It was unfortunate that Jose Valverde had to come in today. He’s now appeared in 14 of the team’s 26 games and is on pace to make 84 appearances this year. It would certainly help with his goal of 74 saves, but that is a heavy workload.