Verlander throws season's latest gem


Justin Verlander

VerlanderJust like St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jaime Garcia on Friday night, Justin Verlander allowed his first baserunner with a one-out walk in the eighth inning Saturday. But he quickly erased that with a double play and breezed through the ninth inning, facing the minimum for his second career no-hitter.

It's the seventh no-hitter in Detroit Tigers history, and he's the second pitcher to throw two no-hitters for the franchise, joining Virgil Trucks, who threw both of his in the same season back in 1952.

Justin Verlander
Career No-Hitter Comparisons

He's the 27th pitcher with multiple no-hitters and just the third active pitcher with more than one, joining Mark Buehrle and Roy Halladay. Of course, one of Halladay's came in last year's postseason.

Verlander is the second player in MLB history to win a Rookie of the Year Award (first awarded in 1947) and throw two no-hitters. The other is Hideo Nomo.

Only three of the 22 balls the Blue Jays put in play left the infield, and Verlander threw five pitches at 100 MPH or faster, matching his highest total in any start in the past three seasons.

He also got stronger as the game went along; all five of his pitches at 100 or faster came in either the seventh or eighth inning, and his average velocity increased every three innings.

Verlander Average Fastball Velocity
By Inning, Saturday vs Blue Jays

If it seems like no-hitters are becoming more common, that's because they are.

Verlander's no-no is the eighth since the start of 2010, including Halladay's playoff gem against the Reds last season. There were eight no-hitters combined from 2005-2009.

In coincidental news, the only other no-hitter thrown on the day of the Kentucky Derby was by Bo Belinsky of the California Angels against the Orioles on May 5, 1962. Decidedly won the Derby that year in what was then a record time (2:00.3). Ernie Koob threw a no-no on the first Saturday in May of 1917, but it wasn't Derby Day that year.