It’s Justin Verlander Day!
I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact that Justin Verlander is my favorite player outside of the Twins. He’s just so consistently dominating — he’ll hit 100 MPH in the 8th or 9th inning like it’s no big deal. So when I noted that he was going to be pitching against the A’s, I e-mailed my friend Suzanne and invited her to join me at the game. (And even if she had said no, I’d have gone anyway.)
Verlander didn’t disappoint even my exceedingly high expectations. The A’s didn’t get a hit until the 4th inning. They got a second hit in the 5th, which happened to be a solo homerun by Seth Smith, but other than that, Verlander was lights out for 7 innings. (And that homerun didn’t hurt as the Tigers had already scored 2 runs, but I didn’t go to watch the Tigers offense. Especially since my former second favorite Tiger, Brandon Inge, is now an A.)
When he didn’t come out for the 8th, I was a little confused, because normally he doesn’t let things like pitch counts get in his way — it turns out he had a callous on his hand that had cracked open and started bleeding during the 7th and the trainer decided he should be done. I will note that the 7th inning was the only inning he didn’t get a strikeout… probably the bleeding thumb.
This season I’ve been trying to pick 10 or so diverse pictures to illustrate whichever game I was at. In honor of Justin Verlander, this time I picked 13 pictures of JV’s delivery, taken with burst mode, so you can watch him pitch in slow motion over and over again.