Justin Verlander: His 2nd Career No-Hitter Means What for the Detroit Tigers?

Lake CruiseAnalyst IMay 8, 2011

In terms of the overall story line, what does it mean for a pitcher to throw two no-hitters in the majors? It means he’s one of the best in the game.

It doesn't necessarily mean the team he pitches for will gain momentum and go on to win the World Series. 

It could happen, though. I'll be watching.

You keep watching me and I'll bring you the word on the streets about the Detroit Tigers' chances. And I'll be weighing in when, or if Verlander pitches another no-no this season—a campaign shaping up to be a back-to-back year of the pitcher in the majors.  

Fireballer Justin Verlander joined the fraternity of chuckers who’ve tasted the salt of throwing a no-no twice in Major League Baseball. 

Anybody can do it in Little League Baseball—smile.

No-hitters are the salt of the baseball earth—moreso than home runs, triples, hit by pitches, you get the idea. 

No-nos are what it is; they rock.

At the rock solid age of 28 year old, Verlander is outside of the top 20 in ERA in the American League. He has a high strikeout total, though, of 55 through eight starts, while pitching 57 innings. Batters have only gotten 38 hits off of him.

Toeing the rubber for the Old English "D" his entire career, Verlander’s slider in the no-no was as wicked as a professional batter could imagine. 

That’s what the Toronto Blue Jays were probably saying to themselves on the way back to the dugout.

Looking at the rotation on his pitches was like they were staring down the spinning face of the devil in a nightmare playing out on the field. It was like they were swinging with pitchforks.

When I played, we would say to woeful hitters that they couldn't hit a beach ball with an ironing board. Well, the Jays couldn't hit an SUV if they were stuck in Detroit rush hour traffic behind the behemoth, and their breaks suddenly went out. That's how bad it was for struggling Toronto Saturday at home against Verlander.

It's not their fault, though. They lost Shaun Marcum and Vernon Wells, and Aaron Hill is overrated. Jose Bautista didn't play against Verlander and perhaps now we see why.

Justin was busting the Blue Jays high and inside with wicked cutters and killer curves. Knees were buckling, swings were weak and heads were hanging on the way back to the dugout.

What will it do to inspire the Tigers to go on and win the American League Central division? Right now, they’re in a mediocre third place behind Cleveland and Kansas City—7.5 games behind the Indians and 4.5 behind the Royals.

Giving the Bronx Bombers a royal butt-kicking by sweeping the N.Y. Yankees in the last three games of the best-of-four series early last week, the Tigers' record is now 13-18. 

Maybe Verlander's no-hitter will give Detroit a kick in the butt—save Jim Leyland a trip.

Getting doused with liquid during the post-game interview and dancing around in the enjoyment, soaking it all up, Verlander experienced an emotional high or a self-realization. 

He's special and he knows it. We should all be so blessed. I'm getting my blessings, get yours before I take them all.

J.V.'s Sabbath performance was a Saturday evening post—a well-written article—detailing who, what, when, where, why and how. That’s what the Blue Jays were asking themselves after the game.

Verlander came within inches of pitching a perfect game.  Like I said, year of the pitcher—back-to-back. Coupled with Francisco Liriano’s no-no versus the sliding Chicago White Sox last Tuesday, Verlander made more history. 

It was the 17th time there have been two major league no-hitters within five days. According to STATS LLC, the last duo to do it was Al Leiter of the Marlins and Dwight Gooden of the Yankees between May 11-14, 1996.

Verlander threw his first no-no against the Milwaukee Brewers in June of 2007. He struck out 12 in that one. On Saturday, he became the second Tigers pitcher ever to throw two no-hitters. Virgil Trucks—whoever he is—did it in 1952. 

Verlander struck out four Blue Jays in the no-hitter, while facing the minimum. He gave up a controversial walk, but he erased it with a double play. Rajai Davis ended the game by striking out on Verlander's 108th pitch of the game.

He threw 74 strikes and his fastball was zipping by Davis and his teammates' ears all day at over 100 mph. 

The year of the pitcher two times in a row.

The Jays weren't playing in the Majors in 1952, but they've been no-hit four times since 1977—the year they joined MLB

not sure where they stand in terms of franchise's getting no-hit, but the last time was by Texas’ Nolan Ryan—who threw his record seventh no-hitter against them on May 1, 1991.

That's almost 20 years ago to the day. The Jays hope the next no-no—No. 5 for their franchise—won't come until another 20 years.

Verlander could do it again this season—to any team. He’ll probably have to stand up against the leading MVP candidates, though.

I'm not sure if he's concerned about personal accolades, but he became the 30th pitcher in major league history to throw multiple no-hitters, STATS LLC says. His teammates noticed.   

Verlander got doused with a bucket of ice water by reliever Jose Valverde and was showered with beer in the locker room. Now if the Detroit pitching staff—including Max Scherzer and Valverde—can douse their opponents' fires from here on out, then the Tigers could make a run at Cleveland and Kansas City in the AL Central.

That's basically what Verlander's no-no means. It remains to be seen what it will actually do for the boys in orange, white and navy blue. As mentioned, I'll be watching and reporting back with the word on the streets. 

Check back with me and get the scoop. 


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