Justin Verlander pitched for the Mets and won two World Series titles with the Houston Astros, but he will always be part of Detroit. From there, he embarked on a storied career, winning first of three Cy Young Awards and one Most Valuable Player Award, as well as two of his three career no-hitters.
So when three Tigers pitchers became the ninth pitcher in team history and the 20th no-hitter in major league history, Verlander was in the spotlight. So did other members of his family. Their group chat was soon about Verlander’s first no-hitter at Comerica Park since he was handcuffed to Milwaukee in 2007, as well as old highlights that were airing on air. Protuberant.
“My wife let me know how young I was when it happened, and someone else told me how young I look,” Verlander said. With a smile on his face, he casually muttered an insult that emphasized how long ago it was.
Verlander doesn’t know Tigers right-hander Matt Manning, who smashed the Blue Jays in the first six and two-thirds in the Detroit era. 2-0 win He also doesn’t know much about the relievers he took over from there: Jason Foley (1st and 3rd) and Alex Lange (1st). But he knows the history of the ballpark, the city, and the team better than most active players.
“I think my name always comes up when certain things happen,” Verlander said. “As long as I’ve played there and done some of the great things that I’ve been able to achieve there, when you’re tied to an organization like that, there’s no doubt that there’s a piece of the mind that wishes them well, of course. .”
But the Blue Jays may not wish Verlander or the Tigers luck. Verlander had his second no-hitter of his career against Toronto on May 7, 2011, and the Blue Jays also had a no-hitter with the Houston Astros on September 1, 2019. was. .
Verlander is one of only six pitchers to have 3 or more no-hitters (the others are Nolan Ryan (7), Sandy Koufax (4), Larry Corcoran, Bob Feller, Cy Young (three times each)), but things are getting better. I know combination no-hitters. He was in the dugout of two of them last year. The Astros’ memorable tag team no-hitter in June against the Yankees in Houston (Christian Javier, Hector Nellis, Ryan Presley) and Philadelphia in Game 4 of the World Series (Javier, Bryan). Abreu, Rafael Montero, Presley).
Verlander said one way to celebrate is that when multiple pitchers are involved, it’s more team-oriented, so combining no-hitters creates a better celebration. A World Series no-hitter was “amazing, unbelievable,” Verlander said.
But at the same time, he said, “It doesn’t take anything away from the combined no-hitter record, but the way the media reports it makes the difference.” And he noted that combined no-hitters will become the norm, not the exception, as the way the game is changing. that’s right, 12 out of 20 They have occurred since 2000, nine of them since 2018.
Analysis has played an important role in this change, with some teams adhering to the principle that starting pitchers should not let the opponent batting a third time in a game, but the impact baseball has had on society. It also raises questions about whether there are Some are due to not properly developing the starting pitcher.
“I hope Major League Baseball doesn’t wait too long to address that issue, because you got what you asked for, right?” Verlander said. “Teams are looking for players who can throw 160 mph and have one very good off-speed throw. You will become obsessed with letting go.
“So instead of waiting for yourself to grow naturally, break. So you get what you want.”
Verlander, 40, said he occasionally discusses the topic with teammate Max Scherzer, 38, who has two career no-hitters. Verlander and Scherzer have pitched 939 games, 38 complete games, 5,997⅔ innings and 456 wins.
In a separate conversation on Friday, Scherzer said: I feel like no one’s arms are growing anymore. All my arms are broken. ”
In Manning’s case, in addition to modern strategy, the timing of his masterpiece was also a factor. Manning, 25, a first-round pick in 2016, is only making his fifth start of the season after breaking his right leg in April. His shoulder pain has limited him to 12 starts in 2022.
“He’s had a tough time,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch told reporters after Saturday’s game. “I almost beat him after the fifth and sixth.
All in all, the Tigers’ three pitchers threw a total of 116 pitches and recorded nine strikeouts. Manning walked three hitters for one, while Foley and Lange delivered impeccable performances in short stints.
It was definitely an accomplishment for all three pitchers, but it came without the same level of distinction that the pitchers finished what they started. Verlander believes MLB needs to find ways to encourage teams to return to developing top-level starters who can pitch deep into the game. By doing so, the fans who come to see the game may not only see the series of strong pitchers, but also create unforgettable memories for the rest of their lives.
“I hope that in the years to come, we won’t see an entire league full of players whose names nobody knows,” Verlander said.