Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/3/12
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It isn't unusual to see a game plan go out the window, but three batters in?

Justin Verlander and his catcher, Gerald Laird, wasted no time switching things up Sunday after Chicago White Sox leadoff man Alejandro De Aza stunned the Detroit Tigers ace with a second-pitch homer and one out later Dewayne Wise draped a double near the line in short left field.

"My fastball (command) wasn't there," Verlander told pitching coach Jeff Jones in the dugout after his day ended following 124 pitches and eight innings. He didn't give up another run in Detroit's 4-2 win that completed a three-game sweep and left the Tigers and White Sox tied for first place in the AL Central.

Laird said, "We decided early in the first inning, I think it was after the third hitter, that his fastball wasn't going quite where he wanted it to. So we started going more to off-speed and breaking stuff.

"After that, he showed good command of all his pitches."

Verlander said, "I decided I was not going to get beat throwing 90 miles an hour. I'd rather get beat throwing 95, 96 if my fastball command is a little off."

Verlander also got into a verbal dustup with Chicago's A.J. Pierzynski, a gamer who just might have been trying to throw the Detroit right-hander off his game.

"He said two words that I can't say," Verlander said.

"I just told (Verlander) to not let that detract from what he had to do," Laird said of the incident, which apparently began when Pierzynski struck out in the fourth and continued with some words and an attempted stare-down after he struck out again in the seventh. "He had to stay with what we were doing because a walk or a bloop and all of a sudden we could lose control of the situation."

Didn't happen, though. Verlander spotted use of his fastball better and went to his curve and slider more. He allowed just four hits and struck out 11 to give him a big-league-best 209 K's.

"We just need to maintain the intensity level we showed during this series," Verlander said. "We had great at-bats, we pitched well. You can't do that throughout the whole year, it's impossible. But down the stretch, yeah, let's do it."

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