Shut ‘Em Up And Then Shut ‘Em DownPosted 9 May 2011 by Wee Bey
Now THAT was a no-hitter.
If Francisco Liriano was among the American League starters least likely to throw a no-no, Justin Verlander falls into the exact opposite category. He’s a guy who almost surprises you when he isn’t dominant.
It’s a testament to how fantastic Major League pitching has been the last few years that people don’t talk more about Verlander. But, honestly, he’s one of the rarest of all breeds: A guy with such nasty stuff, he’s a threat to throw a no-hitter every time out. Saturday night’s gem would have been a perfect game if not for a hellacious at-bat by J. P. Arencebia, who saw 12 pitches before drawing a free pass in the eighth.
Verlander hit 100 on the gun in the ninth inning, and was breaking off a deuce that dove for earth like Donald Trump’s poll numbers and was delivered between 77-79 MPH. That’s unhittable. With a bat, with a banjo, with a railroad tie. In our time watching baseball, there have only been three pitchers with that kind of stuff. Nolan Ryan combined velocity, a yakker and a mean streak, which explains why he threw 7 no-hitters and why Robin Ventura hates the clip shows they show on the scoreboard during rain delays. Doc Gooden, for two or three glorious summers, was the best pitcher who ever lived. Cocaine’s a helluva drug.
And now Verlander. He’s thrown a pair of no-hitters, and we’ll be shocked if he doesn’t throw at least one more.
Can We Get Something In About The Hats: Right about the same time Verlander was pumping a fastball past Rajai Davis to complete his masterpiece, a horse named Animal Kingdom was ruining headline writer’s nights all across the country by winning the Kentucky Derby. I mean, come on, Headline Gods. We had winners picked out for Stay Thirsty (The Most Interesting Horse In The World) and Mucho Macho Man (He Has A Funky Walk) but what were we gonna do with Animal Kingdom?
But publishers across the country got pictures of people in stupid hats into the paper, so the Derby served its’ purpose, yet again.
Yes, It’s Spelled Lede For A Reason: Speaking of newspapers, both of these are The Greatest Thing That Ever Happened.
Try that in your fancy blogs. What’s that? Yeah, we know. Inherently ironic. Bite us. Also, too, newspapers have officially hit the Dust Bowl era when there isn’t a Tolkien expert on the NYTimes copy desk.
This Is Not ‘Nam, Smokie, This Is Bowling. There Are Rules: More newspapers. On blogs. Chris Jones has 20 rules for sportswriters. Learn them. Obey them. Because if we read one more girls softball story with a Rebecca Black reference, we’re gonna punch somebody. And the kicks come afterwards.
Fuelie Heads And A Hurst On The Floor: Seriously stiff competition for the Song Of The Week this week. Merle Haggard got consideration for topical reasons, as did Jerry Jeff Walker. But in the end, Bruce wins. Cause summer’s here, and the time is right.