7/31/11 DET vs. LAA
8 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 83 Game Score
Who remembers this game? Verlander entered the eighth inning with a no-hit bid, his third time doing so in his magical 2011 season. This time, however, Angels shortstop Erick Aybar attempted to bunt in the eighth inning to break up the no-no. Verlander, who rarely loses his cool, couldn’t compose himself well enough and made a throwing error, allowing Aybar to reach second base.
He gave up his one and only hit in the inning to Maicer Izturis, but with a runner on second in a 3-2 game, Verlander calmly(?) brought a couple 100 mile per hour fastballs past Torii Hunter to end the threat.
However, this game is not remembered for Verlander’s near no-hitter as much as it is for the complete meltdown that occurred on the other side of the diamond. While Verlander may have kept his cool when the other team committed a bush league act, Angels ace Jered Weaver could not.
In the third inning, Magglio Ordonez hit a deep fly ball to right field. He couldn’t tell if it was fair or foul, so he watched from the box. Everyone on the field understood that rationale, except Weaver who was incensed by the behavior. In a fun game of poke-the-bear, Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillen took Weaver very deep in the seventh inning. He stayed in the box, and took an angled route so he could stare down Weaver. Weaver, despite the umps warning both sides, threw well over Alex Avila‘s head on the next pitch and was ejected.
It was one of the most exciting and well-remembered games of the season. Verlander’s overall line may be slightly misleading, as he was truly dominant in this one. And in true JV fashion, when things got heated, he calmly took care of the situation. That’s what makes it a signature performance for the future Hall of Famer.