DETROIT -- Don't think that a player as competitive as Justin Verlander doesn't know what his postseason record is or what the expectations are of him.
In eight postseason starts, Verlander was 3-3 with a 5.57 ERA. Not very Cy Young or MVP-like, even when you consider those first four starts came when he was a rookie in 2006 and was -- in his words -- "gassed" at that point.
Things are different now. Verlander is an established veteran at 29, considered to be one of the best, if not the best, pitchers in the game today.
Yet the only thing missing from his stellar resume is playoff success, or more preferably, playoff dominance. Verlander took a big step in that direction Saturday.
The Detroit Tigers ace came into this short American League Division Series against the Oakland A's knowing that it was his job to set the tone, to put his team ahead.
It wasn't a promising beginning as Oakland's Coco Crisp led off the game with a home run and the A's forced Verlander to throw 26 pitc...