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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Morosi: Even a roughed-up Verlander delivers

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED????

Understand this about Verlander: He is, at 29, mellower than in his younger days — on the mound, at least. He usually throws in the low 90s during the early innings. That allows him to establish a consistent delivery — the foundation from which he later ascends to 97, 98, 99 and, yes, 100. The method is rare, but it has helped Verlander become the best pitcher in baseball.

Well, Verlander didn’t use it Tuesday. He didn’t even try. Basically, he had it in his mind that folks in the ballpark — and those watching around the world — wanted to see him throw the baseball as hard as he possibly could. And when that sort of notion germinates in the brain of Justin Brooks Verlander, it brings about a collision of machismo and talent more combustible than July fireworks….

I’ve heard Verlander rationalize after poor starts. That wasn’t the case Tuesday. If anything, his postgame remarks showed that he understands the principle of the All-Star Game. It is meant to showcase the best talents in baseball. It is meant to delight fans, in the stadium and at home. It is meant to humanize stars we see fleetingly the rest of the season.

When he pitches for the Tigers, Verlander’s job is to win. Tuesday, his job was to entertain. And he did that, as much as any pitcher could while saddling his AL teammates with what proved to be an insurmountable deficit.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star game, justin verlander, this time it counts, tigers

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   1. dr. scott Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:49 AM (#4180070)
I for one was thrilled to see 100mph appear in a multicolored font over the ball in the MLB AP while I was on the train. Its an experience I wont trade for anything. Thanks JV.

   2. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:51 AM (#4180071)
Tuesday, his job was to entertain.

If so, he failed miserably, since the entire country shut the game off after the top of the first.
   3. TerpNats Posted: July 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4180081)
I dare say people in Washington and San Francisco and Pittsburgh, not to mention a few other places, found it wonderfully entertaining.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 11, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4180106)
Basically, he had it in his mind that folks in the ballpark — and those watching around the world — wanted to see him throw the baseball as hard as he possibly could.


I think he had it in his mind that there was no way he was pitching more than an inning or two.
   5. Chris Needham Posted: July 11, 2012 at 01:02 PM (#4180166)
I'd love to see the 93 ramping up to 100 thing fact checked.
   6. madvillain Posted: July 11, 2012 at 01:23 PM (#4180193)
I'd love to see the 93 ramping up to 100 thing fact checked.


My buddy watches 90% of the Tigers games at our apt. This is in fact how JV pitches. He has massive talent and doesn't really "go to the well" so to speak, until the middle and later innings, the 2nd and 3rd time through the lineup.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 11, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4180253)
chris

concur with mud. verlander may not have the big fastball every night but instead of going large early and then changing speeds downward verlander mixes in faster pitches
   8. JL Posted: July 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM (#4180314)
I love watching Verlander pitch, and that includes those knee-buckling curve strikeouts. Those are fun to watch, particularly after a 101 MPH fastball.

While I can understand his reasoning, I do wish he had mixed it up to show all his skills.
   9. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 11, 2012 at 03:20 PM (#4180327)

I love watching Verlander pitch, and that includes those knee-buckling curve strikeouts. Those are fun to watch, particularly after a 101 MPH fastball.


I was more entertained by the knee-buckling curve Verlander threw Votto to strike him out, than all the "impressive" 100 mph fastballs he was leaving up in the zone to get hammered.
   10. Karl from NY Posted: July 11, 2012 at 03:29 PM (#4180342)
Didn't Pedro Martinez work similarly? He didn't quite hit 100 of course, but during his Red Sox career he would start games around 90 and ramp up to 95-96 in the middle innings.
   11. sotapop Posted: July 12, 2012 at 12:00 AM (#4180705)
I watched him pitch in college at ODU, and he was doing it even then -- low 90s early, 96-97 in the 7th and 8th. I remember the scouts checking with each other to see if their guns were right.
   12. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 12, 2012 at 06:08 AM (#4180753)
I'd love to see the 93 ramping up to 100 thing fact checked.

I've watched a lot of Tiger games, but I can't confirm the 93 mph in the early innings or the gradual ramp-up. It seems more likely that he hovers around 95, then throws harder late.

It is common, well-documented knowledge that Verlander routinely hits 99 and 100 in the 8th and 9th inning (if he's still in the game). And it's rather impressive.

I also think (but with less certainty) that he rarely hits 98+ in the early innings.
   13. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 12, 2012 at 06:32 AM (#4180755)
I'd love to see the 93 ramping up to 100 thing fact checked.
Bill Petti at Fangraphs recently looked at Verlander's velocity in the 9th inning. He doesn't average 93 in the 1st or 100 in the 9th, but he clearly throws more and harder fastballs late in the game, and his fastball average velocities suggest that he commonly does throw some 93 mph fastballs in the 1st and some 100-milers in the 9th.

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