Notes, quotes and figures from Verlander’s outing

Though Justin Verlander led the American League in strikeouts last year, he had just two starts all season with more than 10 strikeouts. One of them was an eight-inning, 14-strikeout performance against the Diamondbacks on June 25, 2011 that set a career high for him. Verlander matched that on Monday night. The fact that he did it against the Yankees made it even bigger.

Just two Tigers since 1918 had struck out 14 Yankees in a game, and they were both Hall of Famers. Jim Bunning did it in 1958. Hal Newhouser did it in 1943. Both games came before the designated hitter era.

Nobody on any team had struck out that many Yankees in a game since Pedro Martinez fanned 17 in a complete-game one-hitter on Sept. 10, 1999, according to baseball-reference.com.

“It’s a hard team to strike out,” Verlander said, “just because of how professional every single one of their batters is. And by professional, I mean they put up a lot of quality at-bats. They don’t swing. They don’t chase a lot of stuff. I was able to establish my breaking ball early in the game and throw a lot of strikes with it, which allowed me to start expanding the zone a little bit. They kind of had to swing at it because I established that I could throw a strike when I wanted.”

Verlander’s 132 pitches thrown tied his career high from May 29, 2011, when he tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Red Sox at Comerica Park. He topped his 2012 season high by one pitch, eclipsing the 131-pitch mark he reached in his complete-game win at Kansas City on April 16.

But the really impressive pitch total was the number of strikes he threw — 96, which marked the first time in his career he had reached 90. The only Major League pitcher to throw 96 strikes since 2003 was Brandon Morrow, who threw 97 strikes out of 137 pitches in his complete-game one-hitter for the Blue Jays against Tampa Bay on August 8, 2010. Morrow struck out 17 batters in that game.

At one point during the middle innings, Verlander was throwing better than three-quarters of his pitches for strikes. His final strike percentage was 72.7. If you look at every Major League game since 2000, nobody had thrown that many pitches with that high of a strike percentage. The last to do it was then-Astro Randy Johnson, who fired 101 strikes out of 133 pitches in a 16-strikeout, complete-game shutout of the Pirates on Aug. 28, 1998.

23 Comments

Interesting stats on Verlander. Always nice to see him step his game up against an opponant like this. Now they need to gain some ground on the ChiSox, and take over that first place slot.
–Mike

This team is so streaky it is almost unbearable – last week we were crying about that road trip, right now we are playing terrific. Justin will be Justin and we just have to realize not every outing is going to be fantastic. Last night he had amazing control – 14 strikeouts is simply amazing. He can’t be Cy Young every season but even when he is not, he is an amazing competitor and has a ton of talent, more than most in the league.

I love this feeling – keep it going boys! And who doesn’t love beating the dreaded yankees?

Gunna be a challenge for the Boy tonight on the bump. Hopefully our bats keep it up – our bullpen has been shaky lately.

With Dirks and Baker……does delmon even play tonight?

looking at the Hughes (RHP) splits….righties hit hughes much harder (.977OPS) than lefties (.620OPS). Stacking lefties is sounding like a bad idea now.

I had the craziest dream last night that Delmon was caught stealing. Why would he ever try to steal, hahaha?

It was a hit and run. Avila missed the sign .
He had a infield hit and that was strange.

Bizarro world:
Young, OBP:298.
Ichiro, OBP:286.

It will probably be the same lineup as last night. I assume Baker would start tomorrow against CC. His ability to play several positions makes him a RH hitting Don Kelly, and is a better pinch hitting candidate. That was definitely a “fill a need” type of acquisition.

lets hope he is used properly [wink]

El Tigre, I was thinking of you while reading this. http://motorcitybengals.com/2012/08/06/vsl-in-review/
Perhaps a slightly different perspective on players you probably already or well aware of.
Saludos.

Gracias, the Summer League is not covered by the MSM here.It is more an internal tournament between the schools managed by MLB teams.So its new for me too.

I’d like to weigh in on the Fielder/fielder. I like what I am seeing now. There is still an innate awkwardness and physiclal limitations to deal with but IMO he is doing an adequate job and tries as hard as anyone out there in doing his job.
The wandering off the bag will get better as he realizes the range of and learns to trust his partner Omar. He has been making the picks over there as well. Pretty dependable on foul pops.

Agreed. And not to bring up a bad memory, but the Cabrera play in the perfect game was also a case of him ranging too far. Likewise, he had already played with Sizemore, Santiago, Guillen, and perhaps more, and it was only the beginning of June.

Candy Maldonado said the same during the ESPN broadcast. He needs to get used to play with Omar. Still, JV needs to remenber:keep the eyes on the ball. First the ball then the base.

Your observations ring true.

It’s true. Catch the ball first. But it is scary when you are trying to catch the ball and placing your foot blindly. An inch or two either way and you can roll the ankle or get spiked. Tough to do that at game speed. The good news is the error was a non factor in the grand scheme of things.
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Let’s keep this party rolling tonight.
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Go Tigers.
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— Bob

A lot of pressure on Rick Porcello. The Yankees will try to make up for Monday night.

Glad I got to watch the game last night. The weekends have been so busy. When did they start the pitch count? Justin looks like an exception to tht. His motion is so fluid. Did not like the hit and run on the first pitch. Alex was thown a nasty curve ball. Also, keep Delmon out of the 5 hole, he seems to be doing better batting 6th. It sure is refreshing to see Andy back in the lineup. I said at the beginning of the year that he was going to be a star! Go Tigers! –Dave going to be a star

Meant to finish with I also like his (Andy’s) hustle, just like Prince!

Agreed DB. Dirks is baseball player. He will use every ounce of talent that God gave him. He is one of my favourites. I hope he isnt one of those players that gets bit by ongoing injuries. He would be playing left field everyday in my lineup.
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— Bob

If you can handle seeing a picture of Roy Oswalt done up like a baby with a pacifier (be careful, it’s pretty scary), Jon Paul M. has a story on Oswalt and the state of the Rangers here:

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/roy-oswalt-texas-rangers-bullpen-ron-washington-unhappy-situation-focus-on-big-problems-080612

All teams have issues.
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With Matt Garza on the DL indefinitely, it appears many teams, perhaps including the Tigers, narrowly avoided being involved in Jarod Washburn II.

Fu Te Ni was released from Toledo.

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