Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 5/5/13
Seattle-mariners-against
Carlos Pena saved Jim Leyland from one of the toughest decisions of his career. The former Tiger broke up Justin Verlander's no-hit bid with one out in the seventh inning, meaning Leyland didn't have to consider pushing his ace to unprecedented pitch counts. Verlander was already pushing 110 pitches when Pena singled to right field, and probably would have been over 140 if he had finished the no-hitter. So would Leyland have let Verlander throw more than his career high of 132 pitches and risk an injury in a May blowout of the Astros? "I really didn't think he had a chance to get there," Leyland said during the FOX Sports Detroit postgame show. "I was thinking about 125 pitches, 130 at the most." Verlander isn't big on pitch counts, especially when they stand in the way of a shot at the record books. When Leyland pulled Anibal Sanchez after eight innings and 17 strikeouts last month, Verlander joked that the manager would have had to physically removed him from the field before he gave up a shot at tying the record of 20. This time, though, Verlander's chance at a third no-hitter -- something that only Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax and Bob Feller have accomplished since 1900 -- had probably been doomed by a 26-pitch first inning. As it turned out, Pena got Leyland off the hook. "He guessed right," Verlander said of Pena's at bat. "A lot of times in this game, I had thrown off-speed in fastball counts. "He thought otherwise. I threw a fastball, and he did a great job of getting on top of the fastball that was up in the zone." The single let Leyland pull Verlander after seven shutout innings, 116 pitches and a 9-0 lead. "I would have done what I felt like was the best thing to do for Justin Verlander's career and the Detroit Tigers," Leyland said. "I would have been caught up in a no-hitter like everybody else, and there's nothing wrong with that, but you can't do silly things." He has seen this before from Verlander, so Leyland was more excited about a spectacular play by Miguel Cabrera. With the no-hitter still alive in the fifth inning, Cabrera made a tumbling stop of Brandon Laird's hard grounder, rolled over and threw from the seat of his pants to get the out. "That's going to be on all the highlight shows tonight, so everyone is going to get another chance to see it," Leyland said. "If that's not somewhere in the top 10 tonight, they need to not have top 10s any more." Pena's single came just as Verlander's teammates were starting to get excited. "Justin's a great pitcher, and we all knew what he was doing," Andy Dirks said. "When you get to about the seventh inning, you start to think 'here we go.'" Dirks didn't stay excited for long, however, because Pena beat Detroit's shift. Omar Infante was playing in shallow right field, but the ball went over his head and dropped in for a clean single. That was the last bit of drama in the game, which stopped being a competitive contest when the Tigers scored eight runs in the first four innings. Prince Fielder, Brayan Pena and Dirks hit early homers, and Omar Infante added a late shot to give the Tigers 26 runs in two days. "The offense has been great the last two days," Dirks said. "Everyone feels really good at the plate right now, and it has shown in these last two games." (The Associated Press contributed to this story.)
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

The NFL is thinking about eliminating the preseason

Romo expected to miss 6-10 weeks with broken bone in back

Kaepernick explains why he is protesting national anthem

Dwyane Wade’s cousin shot and killed in Chicago

NFL tries to reduce kick returns, promptly causes more kick returns

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

San Francisco Giants inching closer to a record they really don’t want

Clint Dempsey undergoing testing for irregular heartbeat

Troubling details emerge from Jeremy Jeffress' DWI arrest

Chargers would welcome Joey Bosa if he signed contract

Falcons rookie Keanu Neal needs surgery on knee

Jerry Jones unhappy with Ezekiel Elliott's dispensary visit

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Marshall’s first impression of Fitzpatrick: ‘He was terrible’

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Six worst quarterback situations in the NFL

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker