Found May 19, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT -- Justin Verlander can't pitch every game, so the Tigers are going to have to find a way to win on those other four days. Manager Jim Leyland cautioned after Friday night's 6-0, one-hit shutout by Verlander that they would need rookie Drew Smyly to pitch well for the Tigers to create some momentum. Kind of how most of the season has gone thus far for the Tigers, they didn't manage to do enough to win, falling to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3, in front of a sellout crowd of 42,953 at Comerica Park. So they still have not managed to win back-to-back games since winning four in a row from April 15-18. Why remains a mystery. "Don't have an explanation for it," said Prince Fielder, who hit a two-run homer Saturday. "Haven't done it yet, I guess." Let's start with leaving runners on base. The Tigers had plenty of runners and even managed to score three, on a two-run home run by Fielder in the third inning and a passed ball by Pirates catcher Rod Barajas that allowed Miguel Cabrera to score in the seventh. The Tigers out-hit the Pirates, 10-9, but left 10 runners on base. That brings their total left on base to 267 in 40 games. Plenty of other American League teams have more than that, but those teams are scoring more runs, too. For example, Texas had left 299 on base coming into Saturday, but had scored 224 runs. The Tigers, after Saturday, had scored only 176 runs. "Its what I talk about all the time," Leyland said. "Ive said it for years. Im a RBI guy. Im a slugging guy. We left (10) guys out there again today. "Its always been my belief that theres probably enough guys out there in the course of a baseball game, and the key is, the guys that make the money are the guys that knock them in. And we just didnt get enough of them today." It's a bit of a struggle at the moment with leadoff man Austin Jackson out with a mild abdominal strain. He was hitting .331 and leading the team in runs before the injury bug hit him on Wednesday. Jackson hopes to return by next week at the latest. Brennan Boesch has a career-high 12-game hitting streak going, so he seems to be coming around. In the last two games, Delmon Young appears to have found his stroke. Friday he had a home run, double and three RBI. He followed that Saturday with another double in a 2-for-4 day. "I'm starting to get my rhythm, timing back, seeing pitches again," Young said. "So things are starting to fall back into place." The key to the offense is getting more production out of Alex Avila, who had an 0-for-4 day and saw his average fall to .218, and Jhonny Peralta, who had three hits Friday night but went hitless Saturday. There are some who suspect that Avila is playing with an injury. As for pitching, the Tigers came into the game ranked 11th in the AL with a 4.20 ERA. The Tigers have gotten everything they could have hoped for from Smyly, who is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA. But in his last two starts combined, he's allowed four two-run home runs. On Saturday, Andrew McCutchen hit a pair of them. "The first one, I had him 1-2, I tried to go fastball away, kind of out of the zone," Smyly said. "It was right there and he killed it. "Then the second one, I don't remember the count, 1-0 or 0-1, something like that, fastball away. It was a really good pitch, might have been a little up. But it was outside corner and he just went with it." Leyland isn't disappointed at all with the 22-year-old. "I think he fits into that spot very well for us, to be honest with you," Leyland said. "I know theres been four two-run homers, and that normally means up. "But hes fine. I think hell figure some things out, and hell have to work to get the ball down." Although it's 40 games in, the 19-21 start doesn't qualify as a disaster, although it hasn't been as fun as everyone had hoped so far. Leave it to Young to put things into perspective. "Last year, if you pointed at who the World Series team was in May, the whole playoffs would be a lot different," Young said. "Cleveland would have been in the playoffs and a couple other teams, Atlanta, Boston. "There's almost four and half months left of baseball. Last I checked, you can't get a division championship in May. So when it's August 3rd and we're not in first place, then we can talk about it. "But I have a good feeling about this team, and when August third rolls around, I think we'll be in position to win a division championship."

Verlander takes no-hitter into ninth

Justin Verlander came within two outs of his third career no-hitter, allowing only Josh Harrison's ninth-inning single in the Detroit Tigers' 6-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Friday night. The 29-year-old Verlander, last year's AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, nearly became the sixth major league pitcher with at least three career no-hitters. But with one out...

Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander Heating Up For Summer

Justin Verlander’s latest brush with greatness gives enough reason to expect more spectacular pitching from him this season — not that he hasn’t been dominant and otherworldly already, but the 6-foot-5 Detroit Tigers ace most definitely has plenty of nastiness to unleash come summer. He showed that in 2011, and gave a preview of what’s to come [...]

Verlander Loses No-No in the 9th with One Out

He almost does it again! Justin Verlander almost does it again. As the Pittsburgh Pirates faced the Detroit Tigers tonight, Verlander almost completed his third career no-hitter. His first no-no came at home on June 12th, 2007, against the Milwaukee Brewers. His second was thrown last year on May 7th, in Toronto, against the Blue Jays. Now, with the Pirates visiting, Verlander put...

Verlander reaction to losing his no-hitter: “F-bomb”

When Pirates utilityman Josh Harrison’s blooper got by the Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta with one out in the ninth inning Friday to bust up Justin Verlander’s no-hitter, everyone had a reaction.  41,000+ fans at Comerica Park mustered up a collective “ahhhh”.  Sitting on my couch with only my one year old home with me (sleeping in a different room), I verbalized a ...

Around MLB: Verlander Best in the Game

 Someone Who Deserves a Raise...Justin Verlander, of course. He's currently 5-1 with a ERA of 2.13 and leads the Majors with a .80 WHIP (walks+hits/innings pitched). Last season he became just the sixth pitcher since 1968 to win the MVP award. The others: Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, Willie Hernandez, Roger Clemens, and Dennis Eckersley. Verlander threw his second career no-hitter...

Verlander gem bittersweet for Pirates manager

DETROIT -- Clint Hurdle grew up in Michigan and dreamed about watching one of his beloved Tigers pitch a no-hitter. Friday night, he almost got his wish. The Big Rapids native, now the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, could only watch helplessly as Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against his team. Even when Josh Harrison's soft liner up the middle...

I’ll admit it, I jinxed Justin Verlander’s potential no-hitter against Pirates

Baseball is a game of superstition, warranted or not. Most of the time it is warranted. That’s just how the game goes. Growing up playing the game for most of my life, and now coaching a fine bunch of young men at Burton Atherton, I often encourage players to do the same exact thing they [...]

Game 2012.40: Pirates at Tigers

Detroit Tigers, 19-20, 3 games behind Cleveland. Last season on May 7 the Tigers were 16-18, and a whole 7 games behind Cleveland in the Central.  Then Justin Verlander sparked the team with a no-hitter against the Blue Jays, they won their next 6, and improved their way to a Central Division title. Could Verlander’s dominating one-hitter last night be the spark that turns the...

Little-known Harrison stays hot while breaking up Verlander's no-hit bid

No member of the Pittsburgh Pirates wanted to be involved with a Justin Verlander no-hitter. But the Detroit Tigers ace had one going heading into the ninth inning against the visiting Pirates on Friday night. With one out in the ninth, unheralded Josh Harrison singled off Verlander to avoid being no-hit. "No one wants to be part of a no-hitter, so it was nice to look...

Leyland on criticism: 'Got it coming'

Detroit manager Jim Leyland says the criticism of his struggling team is to be expected. The Tigers are 18-20 entering Friday night's game against Pittsburgh -- a strikingly mediocre mark for a team that won the AL Central by 15 games in 2011 and added Prince Fielder in the offseason. While Motown waits and hopes the team will hit its stride, patience is running a bit thin....

MLB Insiders: Detroit Tigers

The Pirates open a three-game interleague series in Detroit on Friday night. Right-hander Charlie Morton will be on the hill for the Bucs. The Tigers will counter with ace right-hander Justin Verlander.

Factor12 Rating Leaders: Week 6

The Factor12 Rating (F12) is an analytic measurement utilizing league average performance to compare the value of all MLB pitchers. Brandon Beachy (1) Justin Verlander regains the number one F12 Rating after pitching his latest masterpiece (7IP / 2H / 1ER / 1BB / 8K) against the Oakland Athletics.  The 2011 American League Cy Young Award winner holds a 31.009 Factor12 Rating. (2...
MLB 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.