Oh, Justin Verlander, I don’t care if my sister mocks me for cheering for the Tigers, you are a stud. Headed out to Oakland again this morning to see the A’s host the Tigers once again, but this time with Justin Verlander, a lock for the AL Cy Young and in the running for MVP, taking the mound for Detroit with 23 wins already under his belt. Unfortunately, as mentioned previously, the good camera was left behind in Minnesota. So instead of Verlander at 22x zoom from my seat, I give you Verlander at 3x zoom. As you might expect, it’s not as clear… I kind of miss my good camera.
On the mound for Oakland was Guillermo Moscoso, who I last saw beating the Twins on July 30. Surprisingly enough, it was actually Moscoso who had the no-hitter going through five innings and had the most strikeouts — 8 Ks for Guillermo to Justin’s 6. But let’s be serious… I didn’t go to see Moscoso get a no-no (though it would have been cool). I went to see Verlander get his 24th win. And once Austin Jackson broke up the no-hit bid in the top of the 6th with a solo homerun, that was all Justin needed. Miguel Cabrera almost hit another homerun against Moscoso at the end of the 6th, but it went just foul and he flew out to right on the next pitch instead. The Tigers scored a second run in the 8th and a third in the 9th, but it really didn’t matter.
Thanks to a double play started by Delmon Young, of all people, and a runner caught stealing, Verlander faced the minimum number of batters through three. (Moscoso, despite the no-no bid, actually ruined the minimum batters thing earlier by giving up a walk in the 2nd.) He gave up a single to Coco Crisp in the 4th to ruin that streak, but the A’s didn’t build on it. In fact, the A’s never built on anything — no Oakland runner ever got past first base. (Insert joke here about the A’s playing like they were at a junior high dance.) After 116 pitches, Verlander had a three-hit shut out going after 8 innings of work. Jose Valverde, who’s actually kind of a punk (see, I’m not entirely a Tigers fan), came in with a 1-2-3 9th for the save and just like that, win number 24 was in the book.