Found July 31, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has shown signs of regaining his dominance at times this season. But I never came away from those games believing he had turned the corner. Now I think he has. It all has to do with his curveball the best in the game until recently regaining its knee-buckling break for him in Wednesdays outing. That, in turn, allowed Verlander to once again feast on right-handed hitters, who had been eating him alive this season. Verlander escaped a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam in the first inning with one run. And the Washington Nationals didnt score another run in his six-inning stint, as Detroit won its fifth straight game, 11-1. Jayson Werth hit a sacrifice fly for the first out in the first. Then Verlander got No. 5 hitter Adam LaRoche to go down swinging on a late-breaking curve, and Ian Desmond hit into a fielders choice to end the threat. It was huge, Verlander said of the LaRoche whiff. You go down by two or three runs, and put your offense behind the eight ball. One runs not a big deal. Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones said it was Verlanders most important pitch of the day. It was the key to not only the inning, but the game. The Nationals had to be hoping to see the flatter Verlander curve that hed had in many games, but now they knew his out-pitch was alive and well. He planted a seed in their minds with that pitch that allowed him to do the most important thing a pitcher must accomplish: keep hitters off balance. His curve today was very, very good, Jones said. Was it the vintage Verlander yellow hammer curve? It was, Jones said. Tigers radio analyst Jim Price uses that old baseball slang term for a nasty curve, and counted six yellow hammers for Verlander in this game. The curveball was better and thats a good sign, Verlander said. Thats because it makes his 94-96 mph fastball that much more effective because hitters cant sit on it. And as good as his slider and changeup are, they dont compare to his yellow hammer as the pitch that can be the difference between good and great. Verlander struck fear into most right-handed hitters in recent years. They batted .215 against him in 2011, when he was the American Leagues MVP and Cy Young Award winner. They hit .222 off him in 2012, when he finished second in Cy Young voting. But righties were closing in on .300 against Verlander after 22 starts this season, hitting .289, and thats downright preposterous. On Wednesday, the Nationals, who have top-flight righties in Ryan Zimmerman, Werth and Desmond, went 0-for-10 against Verlander. I asked Verlander for the main reason for his success against righties in this game. It was my curveball, Verlander said. It was sharp. Jones said he began to get the quality curve back in his last start the one in which he gave up seven runs on 11 hits in a six-inning defeat. The coach and star pitcher have been tinkering all season to get him back to where he needs to be, toiling together in bullpen sessions. I dont think theres a pitcher in baseball who has worked as hard as me to make things right, Verlander said. Ive given 115 percent. They will be working on fastball command before his next start. He walked five in the game matching his high for the season -- largely because that command was lacking. My fastball, obviously, was pretty erratic, said Verlander. But it had good life on it. Verlander struck out six for one per inning, and allowed only four hits all singles. Hitters were not squaring up on the ball against him. Hes 11-8 with a 3.88 ERA. Thats hardly disastrous, but its caused plenty of questions and proved disconcerting for Tigers fans. The Detroit News ran an editorial cartoon Sunday of Verlander that had this thought bubble: Dang! Im mortal! But Verlander, 30, doesnt want to pitch like a mere mortal. His expectations are beyond that. Hes been searching all season to be the superstar hes been rather than the plain and simple All-Star hed become. I think his search is just about over.

Video: Newest Detroit Tigers Acquisition Jose Iglesias Demonstrates Quick Hands’s Chris Iott posted a video highlight package of newly acquired Detroit Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Boston Red Sox. Even though it is just a short set of clips, it is clear Iglesias is an upgrade from Jhonny Peralta in range, quickness and playmaking ability. Many times throughout the package it looks like Iglesias will have to eat the ball, but is able to...

Peralta: I shouldn't be on MLB's list

Detroit Tigers All-Star shortstop Jhonny Peralta said he shouldn't be on the list of players linked to the Biogenesis case. ''It's wrong,'' Peralta said Wednesday after hitting a double in Detroit's 11-1 win over the Washington Nationals. ''But whatever happens, I need to fight and try to move on.'' Before and after the game, which might...

Tigers' Cabrera hurt on swing in 9th

Tigers star Miguel Cabrera has another injury to deal with as he attempts to become the first to win baseball's Triple Crown in consecutive seasons. Cabrera might have aggravated a previous ailment, or he may have a new one. Manager Jim Leyland says Cabrera was in pain after his first swing in the ninth inning Tuesday night against Minnesota. Cabrera struck out swinging with...

Tigers land Jose Iglesias in three-team trade

DETROIT -- Dave Dombrowski doesn't know what is going to happen to Jhonny Peralta. With the trade deadline approaching, he decided he couldn't wait to find out. In a major trade announced in the first moments of Wednesday morning, the Tigers acquired Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias as part of a three-way trade that saw highly rated outfield prospect Avisail Garcia go to the...

Jake Peavy Dealt To Boston In Three-Way Trade

As the trade deadline loomed three American League teams were able to lock horns on a multi-player trade that on paper seems to work for all clubs involved. The Boston Red Sox acquired their much needed arm for the playoff push landing 3-time All Star Jake Peavy from the Chicago White Sox. The Red Sox sit perched in second place, a half a game back of the division leading Tampa Bay...

Tigers 11, Nationals 1

Alex Avila and Torii Hunter hit homers in a five-run second inning and the Detroit Tigers scored five more runs in the fourth inning of an 11-1 rout of the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. The AL Central-leading Tigers took the two-game series. They have won five straight and nine of 10 to move 16 games over .500 for the first time this season, but they're not in the mood...

Tigers' Alex Avila's first grand slam swats Nationals 5-1

Alex Avila’s first career grand slam broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning for the Tigers. Avila sent a 2-1 pitch over the fence in right with two outs off Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. It was the first time Strasburg had given up a home run with more than one man on base. The Tigers went on to beat the Nationals 5-1 on Tuesday night in front of 41880 at Comerica Park. Anibal...

Torii Hunter tells reporter he’s going to lay out naked by the pool

Jose Iglesias, Avisail Garcia Reportedly Involved in Three-Team Trade

With Jhonny Peralta apparently headed for a lengthy suspension in the Biogenesis case, the Detroit Tigers reportedly acquired Boston infielder Jose Iglesias in a three-team trade on Tuesday night. The move, reported by several national baseball writers, will send Detroit outfield prospect Avisail Garcia to the White Sox, bring Iglesais to Detroit and move Jake Peavy to Boston. The...

Tigers Swing Big Trade, Land Iglesias

Just when everyone thought the Tigers were done, they pulled a shocker and landed young star shortstop Jose Iglesias from the Red Sox. The acquisition came at a steep price though, as the Tigers gave up one of their top prospects in outfielder Avisail Garcia.

PED bans hang over deadline deals

The Detroit Tigers guarded against the expected suspension of their shortstop, Jhonny Peralta, by adding a gifted young replacement, Jose Iglesias. Call it the Jake Peavy trade. Or call it Biogenesis Trade I. Biogenesis Trade II is expected Wednesday.

Tigers deal Avisail Garcia for Jose Iglesias as part of a three team blockbuster

A busy sports day in Detroit just got a busier as fans learned a valuable lesson of NEVER trusting what a general manager has to say. Hours after Dave Dombrowski made it look as though Detroit wasn’t on the verge of any blockbuster deals or addressing an impending short stop dilemma, the Tigers did a total 180. According to Ken Rosenthal of, the Tigers sent outfielder...
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.