Notes and quotes on Verlander’s Game 5 shutout

How rare was Justin Verlander’s complete-game four-hit shutout in a win-or-go-home Game 5 to close out an AL Division Series? Here are a few facts and figures to help figure that out:

  • Only one Major League pitcher in the last 20 years has tossed a complete-game shutout in a do-or-die game to close out a postseason series. That was Chris Carpenter, who did it for the Cardinals last year. The last American League pitcher to do it under those circumstances was Jack Morris, who tossed 10 scoreless innings in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series.
  • Verlander’s 11 strikeouts ties the highest total ever in a win-or-go-home type game in the postseason. a mark Cliff Lee set two years ago in Game 5 of the Rangers-Rays ALDS.
  • If you go by Bill James’ formula for Game Score, adding points for innings pitched and strikeouts while subtracting for hits, walks and runs allowed, Verlander barely tops Sandy Koufax’s shutout in Game 7 of the 1965 World Series for highest Game Score in a win-or-go-home game, 89 to 88 according to

Now for the quotes …

  • Tigers catcher Alex Avila: “This goes right up there with his no-hitters for sure. It pushes us into the ALCS. To do it against a team like that in a pretty hostile environment, he was in his own world out there and really just kind of put us on his back there.”
  • Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder: “I can’t put my finger on it. I’d say maybe the fourth inning I thought, ‘All right. He hasn’t thrown 100 yet but he’s still got it.’ Whenever he doesn’t have to throw as hard and they still can’t touch it, it’s all right. We have a good shot.”
  • Avila: “He wanted to obviously have the velocity on his fastball, but also being able to locate with it, wanting to throw quality strikes. The first start against them, you could tell he was trying to amp it up early on and was missing early on. Tonight he was able to stay in that mid-90s and really concentrate on the corners and locate with his fastball, which set everything up.”
  • Tigers second baseman Omar Infante: “When we have Verlander, the way he pitched, it’s unbelievable. That’s why we win.”
  • A’s manager Bob Melvin: “But when Verlander gets on a roll like he was today, especially once he gets into his rhythm, you get into the middle innings and he’s rolling along pretty good, it’s tough to stop him.  It’s like a locomotive going at a high speed.  He was tough to deal with.”
  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland: “I think he’s a pretty good matchup for anybody when he is right.  He had that look in his eyes today.  He was determined.  He had a complete game look in his eye.  And we were thankful to get that.  And we got some big hits.”


We certainly have room for improvement. Leyland cannot continue to live Ley-La-Land with respect to Valverde. Valverde brings a multitude of problems to the table. He is a one-pitch pitcher. That is a huge problem when that pitch is hittable. He does not have his players on their toes or even on their heels. They’re on tenterhooks. He has a complete inability to hold runners, any runner any where.
Please Leyland, do not be so stubborn as to be obtuse about this. When you use him and he shows signs he is going to blow up, just don’t stand idly by like you are watching an execution. You owe more to your players and fans than you do Valverde.

And Alex, I know the philosophy about not being too high or too low. But not to the point of lethargy It is OK to get a “little high” when you are at the plate!

Leyland does deserve credit for recognizing (and then acting upon that recognition) the inability of Parker/Norris in holding and throwing out runners. The Berry bunt to AJ to 3rd was another managerial move that was a good one. I also like the defensive substitution of Avisail in the 9th. The kid probably feels badly about the Crisp single getting under his glove–get him back in there and show him you have confidence in him.

That odd dance the A’s fans were doing is called The Burn, I think. It comes from a movie or a video or something? I’m not up on that. Anyway, watching them do that I thought it looked really dumb but they were having so much fun I couldn’t help but laugh along.
When the game ended, we were treated to a long shot showing the Tigers celebrating on the field while the A’s hugged it out in front of their dugout and acknowledging the cheers raining down on them. It was an unforgettable moment, one you don’t often see in big league baseball.

It must have been a good baseball day for you yesterday Rich. I was very impressed with the bullpen that Washington trotted out there yesterday. Werth’s at bat was a classical one.
I really hope Baltimore kicks the Yanks’ butts today. Sabathia has beaten us 3 times this year (I think). we have good success against Chen and Saunders, career wise, has not done that well against us. Home field advantage for us would be a huge boost. Besides, they Yanks LHB are ready to bust out. You can’t hold Grandy and Cano done too much longer.

The “Burn”—I believe it’s from the movie Weekend at Bernie’s.

Just finished poking around Saw this from Pete Gammons:
Their most dynamic player, Yeonis Cespedes, one of the most skilled players in the sport, should be a Tiger. Cespedes and Detroit had a de facto deal last January when Scott Boras got Mike Ilitch to buy on Prince Fielder and back away from Cespedes. Cespedes eventually got a four-year, $36 million deal from the A’s and gave them a 26-year-old star who arguably could be in the MVP voting after Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Robinson Cano and Adrian Beltre.
I was really hoping that DD would go hard after Cespedes. He would have been a godsend in our lneup and outfield.
Also saw some rubbish about Porcello being non-tendered. C’mon. Porcello is a young man with a good arm, good head and with experience. I think he just might get traded and possibly even packaged with Boesch to some lucky team. All we need in return is an all-around shortstop.

N.B the order of Gammons’ MVP candidates!!!!
Wrong time and all, but Miguel played a whole season, and carried a poor slugging team to the playoffs. He did this playing a new position and rebounding from a near career-ending eye injury.

He also play on bad wheels for a month with the ankle issues.

Yesterday’s day of baseball was as good as the previous day was bad. Det-Wash-Bal lose Wednesday and all win Thursday.
I’m rooting for Baltimore strictly for homefield advantage. I don’t think either they or NY would be any easier an opponent.
I had read how close we were to signing Cespedes, and that delay with his visa is what prevented it. By the time he was cleared, Prince was a Tiger. Anyway, all of you who pushed for signing him, take a bow. He really IS all that.

thank gawd we don’t have to play baseball starting at 9:30 anymore.
Glad Justin and the Umpire were on the same page last night.

Am I wrong to think:
Fister will start Saturday, Sanchez on Sunday, Verlander on Tuesday, Scherzer Wednesday and Fister on Thursday (if needed), Sanchez on Saturday (if needed) and Verlander Sunday (game 7 – if needed)?

wednesday Oct. 24 is the 1st game of the WS – in case you wondered.

But for rain there is no other realistic option.

Sounds good to me! GO TIGERS!

I would say you would be the opposite of wrong. I am positive that is the way it will shake out. As El Tigre says, there is no other option.
The interesting thing with the Yanks-Os is that today’s starter would not be available until Game 4. The only way CC starts twice in the LCS is if they go on 3 days rest. (Rain of course will change all of that.
Go Tigers.
— Bob

mmmm rain. yes, rain is forecasted for saturday and sunday- in detroit. I think there is a better chance on sunday (~70%) of a rainout than on saturday (~50%).
However that is assuming CC Sabathia will not get a win tonight – which would send the series to NY for saturday and sunday. I don’t see either of those games having rain issues.

A Rod is now a platoon player.

Yep … Highest paid Bench Coach/Cheerleader/Overall Jerk in the league.
— Bob

Heck, somebody has to be.

the award acceptance speech is both an annual highlight and lowlight

114 mm remaining a bad hip and the experimental surgery. How they eat that contract?
BTW: moving him to 3b allow the worst defensive SS ever to win a Golden Glove to play was a wrong decision

would you trade porcello for AROD if they ate 70% of that contract?

have arod play SS. heck he can’t be worse

Until last year, he was best SS than the statue they have( his DRS is minus 15).
Detroit was used as leverage when he opted out of his contract. Then I liked the idea( i knew then it was only a bluff). Today, he is done.(Or looks so)
Dodgers uniform in the future?

UGH – the forecast is just becoming more and more certain about the rain that will fall saturday and sunday. Do root for the rainout path (e.g. orioles win tonight) or the nonrainout path (e.g. NYY win tonight)? What is better for the tigers?

Take Baltimore’s and NY’s rotations and see how many LH starters and when they can pitch. I think that is more important than a homefield advantage.
I agree that there will be no baseball in Detroit tomorrow, even with the 8:07 gametime.
So far, the most experienced postseason teams have moved on. That bodes well for NY and St. Louis tonight.
I’ll be somewhere in the sea of red down the 1stbase line. Look for a Detroit Lions parka.

Granderson could be a FA

He’ll be too expensive.
I would definitely not trade Porcello for ARod.. ARod is a bit cancerous IMO. We have VMart coming back (though older and slower) too.
We WANT homefield advantage. That, in itself, is huge.

I wonder if JL would have benched an A-Rod for game five.

The rotation would be : Petite (game one). Phelps, he did not do well vs the Tigers (game two)
Kuroda ( game three). . CC. ( game fourth) . Petite. Hughes. CC ( 3 days of rest)
5 games vs LHP

4 games vs LHP

Wei-Yin Chen Zach Britton ? again Saunders. Hammels

Just tuned in to the yankee game. A-Rod out and Grandy(team leader in HR and RBI) hitting 7th. This blog would have a fielday if JL tried that.

field day

Let’s hope Girardi is wrong!!

Showalter: Cris Tillman would be added to the roster to pitch the first game for O´s

Damn Yankees.

All we should do is make sure JV pitches with 4 days rest. Everyone else has to adapt.

Showalter must be the Manager of the Year. It was a good run.

MUST is a strong word, senor. The A’s won 1 more game than the Os, did it with rookie starters, finished with the fourth-best run differential (+99) in the AL (the O’s with the eighth best (+7))…. and of course Melvin got to the ALDS after a terrible 1st half.
I am not saying there is a clear winner – I am suggesting they are both very good.

Well said and quite balanced.

29-9 in one run games.. 20-10 in last 30.The run differential was the result of a few games vs Halos , Mets and Texas. But the low run diff support his case.He used 40 plus different players.

touche and agreed

probably used less lineups than JL. jk jk.

Hmmm maybe O’s pitching is awesome….or Yankees hitting is dead cold…..lets hope the later!
Russell Martin 17AB, .176BA, .300OBP, .412SLG, .712OPS
Curtis Granderson 19AB, .158BA, .200OBP, .316SLG, .516OPS
Alex Rodriguez 16AB, .125BA, .222OBP, .125SLG, .347OPS
Nick Swisher 18AB, .111BA, .190OBP, .111SLG, .302OPS
Robinson Cano 22AB, .091BA, .130OBP, .182SLG, .312OPS

^^ ALDS stats ^^

maybe O’s pitching is awesome….or ? I was asking myself that question

just saying regardless of why —–the yankees haven’t hit much this postseason. yet.

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