Every time Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander hits the mound, there is a chance of him pitching a no-hitter. That's how good he is. Verlander was looking for the third no-hitter of his career and the eighth in Tigers history on Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He lost it in the ninth inning after a breaking ball that was hit by Pirates DH Josh Harrison.
With being that close, you may just wonder when Verlander's third no-hitter will come, and possibly a fourth. When Verlander's pitching with accuracy and the right placement, he's very difficult to hit. It was his first one-hitter as he struck out 12 and allowed two walks in the process.
Legend Nolan Ryan had four no-hitters that ended in the ninth inning during his time. It's a tough time for pitchers. The adrenaline is going, the feeling of being almost to the finish line and the fear of throwing the wrong pitch is all there.
The 29-year-old Detroit ace will hope to join elusive company if he does achieve his third no-hitter. Ryan had seven no-hitters, while Sandy Koufax had four. Bob Feller, Cy Young and Larry Corcoran had three.
Last year's American League MVP and Cy Young winner will achieve Hall-of-Fame status with his third no-hitter. The other two came against Milwaukee in 2007 and Toronto in May of 2011. It's a matter of time before Verlander has one of those magical nights again.
Verlander's array of pitches is nearly impossible for hitters to solve on certain nights. During the one-hitter against the Pirates, Verlander was throwing in the upper-90s and up to 100 mph in the eighth inning. It was a remarkable performance to watch.