Twistity MLB Exclusive: Tiger Rag

Verlander Takes No-Hitter into 9th Inning Turn the clock back a couple of years and no one would be surprised that Justin Verlander was taking a no-hitter into the...

Verlander Takes No-Hitter into 9th Inning

Turn the clock back a couple of years and no one would be surprised that Justin Verlander was taking a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

Turn the clock back and remember Verlander’s dominance.

Or watch the highlights of Wednesday night’s one-hit performance against the Los Angeles Angels in a 5-0 victory.

In 2011, the Detroit Tigers’ star won the American League’s pitching triple crown, going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. That was the most wins in the majors since Bob Welch went 27-6 in 1990 for the Oakland Athletics. Verlander pitched his second career no-hitter that season and was voted not only the Cy Young Award but the MVP as well.

tigerrag1

These times are not those. Though Verlander pitched a complete game and struck out nine with just two walks, this was the exception and not the rule. It was only his second victory of the season (against six defeats). He worked eight innings without a hit before Chris Iannetta led off the ninth inning with a double down the left-field line that kicked up the chalk.

When Verlander was at his peak, so were the Tigers. From 2011 through 2014 they were in the AL Championship Series three times and the World Series once. Now they’re six games under .500 (60-66) and in fourth place in the AL Central Division. Verlander, 32, has struggled with triceps injuries all season and has started only 12 games.

It was great fun watching greatness revisited. Maybe we’ll see more.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman .

Follow @TwistityNews