As the 2011 season turned …

Nine unforgettably dramatic moments that changed the direction of this baseball year

Updated: September 2, 2011, 12:28 PM ET
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com

Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander was a fashionable preseason Cy Young Award pick, but he looked sort of … well … pedestrian out of the chute this season. Verlander carried a 2-3 record and a 3.75 ERA into the second week of May, and had yet to embrace the staff ace within.

That all changed at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on May 7, when Verlander beat the Blue Jays 9-0 for his second career no-hitter. Since that game, Verlander is 17-2 with a 2.10 ERA, and he has all but secured ...

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