On Sunday July 31, 2011 at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit saw the match-up of the decade with two pitchers having won 14 games and very low ERA"s. Detroit Tiger Justin Verlander having his best season as a Detroit Tiger would face the very hot Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels who would have a 14-4 record coming into the game. The match-up would match the heat inside the ballpark at the game time temperature was 90 degrees and rise to 92 degrees later on.
Justin Verlander who has already thrown a No-hitter this season and flirted with anyone earlier in the year. On the day that the Tigers would hand out to the kids in attendance a Justin Verlander poster highlighting his two No-hitters in his career he would once again heat things up in front of the sell-out crowd. Jered Weaver from the Angels would be just as effective in the early going. Justin Verlander would be perfect through 7 innings giving up just two walks.
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the 3th inning when Maggilo Ordonez hit a two run Home Run down the left field line. Jered Weaver seemed to be a little rattled after that home run based on what happened in their dugout after the inning. The game was moving along at a fast pace on this hot and humid afternoon in downtown Detroit. Jered Weaver then would keep the Tiger bats in check until the bottom of the seventh inning when Carlos Guillen hit a bomb to right field and took a little longer running the bases which really upset Jered Weaver. Words were exchanged and then the Home Plate umpire Hunter Wenderstadlt warned Jered Weaver and both teams about throwing at players. Well Alex Avila was the next batter and Jered Weaver promptly fired one over Alex Avila's head. He was ejected and then started a profanity laced comments towards the Tigers dugout.
The 8th inning got interesting when Angel Erick Aybar attempted to bunt to get on and Justin Verlander fielded the ball and threw widely to first base. After a fielder's choice and then an error in a rundown between third and home allowed a run to score. Then a base hit to left field scored the second run and broke up the No-hitter. The crowd gave Justin Verlander a standing ovation at this point. He then retired the last batter he faced on a strikeout with 3 pitches reaching 100 mph or better to finish the day. Jose Valverede came on in the ninth to retire the side and preserve the victory for his 27th save of the season. This would keep the Tigers in first place in the Central Division with a 2 1/2 game over the Cleveland Indians who would lose to the Kansas City Royals.
Once again Justin Verlander showed baseball that he is currently the best pitcher in the game. So far in 2011 he has pitched one No-Hitter and flirted twice with other No-Hitters. It seems like the fans are expecting a No-Hitter every time that he takes the hill. This looks like it will be a Cy Young type of year for Justin and also like he will reach the 20 win plateau that he has yet to reach in his young career.
9th February, 2024