July 12th, 2011

Verlander throws at All-Star Game (sort of)

The All-Star Game hadn’t even started Tuesday afternoon at Chase Field, but Justin Verlander was already thinking towards the second half. While the American League All-Stars were in the visiting clubhouse signing autographs and getting ready for batting practice, Verlander was in the bullpen. It’s his day to throw his side session, after all, and not even an All-Star Game — or the ribbing of his teammates — is going to interrupt that.

“He threw a bullpen at the All-Star Game,” Josh Beckett marveled, with a little bit of teasing. “We’ll just call him Cy Young.”

Verlander smiled and grabbed his cell phone.

“I gotta call Skip, tell him I’m good to go,” Verlander said.

There was at least a little bit of question about that coming out of Verlander’s win Sunday. He threw 119 pitches under sweltering heat in Kansas City, and manager Jim Leyland had left open the possibility that Verlander could get an extra day of rest through the break and start Saturday instead of Friday. But it’s well-known that Verlander feels more comfortable pitching on four days’ rest than five,  no matter what kind of outing he’s coming off.

If anything, he can at least say he got in some pitches at the All-Star Game this year.