Game 2012.40: Pirates at Tigers

Detroit Tigers, 19-20, 3 games behind Cleveland.

Last season on May 7 the Tigers were 16-18, and a whole 7 games behind Cleveland in the Central.  Then Justin Verlander sparked the team with a no-hitter against the Blue Jays, they won their next 6, and improved their way to a Central Division title.

Could Verlander’s dominating one-hitter last night be the spark that turns the 2012 season around?

Leyland perhaps summed up the game best: “Everybody who was here last night probably saw one of the best games pitched in the history of baseball.”

Here are some reactions by Verlander, Avila, and Harrison to the one lone hit.

There are those who think that the Free Press jinxed Verlander.  Justin’s own reaction was much more reasonable.  “God that sucks,” he said of the hit. But he knows he will have other opportunities.

Verlander’s shutout lowered his ERA to 2.14, good enough for 2nd in the AL (Derek Lowe is 1st at 2.05).  The 3rd place spot belongs to tonight’s pitcher and Little Rock native, Drew Smyly (2.31).  Smyly will smile upon fellow Little Rock native A.J. Burnett, who takes the mound for Pittsburgh.

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Random stat of the day:  Jim Leyland’s career managing mark is hovering right around .500, but he is 71-38 in interleague play.

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Random stat of the day part 2: We all know that Nolan Ryan holds the record for most career no-hitters with 7.  But he also holds the career record for the most no-hitters broken up in the 7th inning or later, with 24 of those (Randy Johnson is 2nd with 11).  So including the no-hitters that’s 31 times he has gone into the 7th inning of a game with a no-hitter.

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Today’s Player of the Pre-game:  Delmon Young. Young had a HR and a double last night; the Tigers need some production from the 5th spot in the lineup if they want any kind of offensive consistency.

Tonight’s Undefeated Interleague Lineup (Austin Jackson is “feeling better” and may be available from the bench):

  1. Don Kelly CF
  2. Andy Dirks LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera 3B
  4. Prince Fielder 1B
  5. Delmon Young DH
  6. Alex Avila C
  7. Brennan Boesch RF
  8. Jhonny Peralta SS
  9. Ramon Santiago 2B