Oh hey there Justin Verlander, where've you been?

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Justin! Old buddy, old pal, where ya been? Nice to finally see you again… the real you, that is.

Seven innings, seven hits, no runs, NO walks (!!), NINE strikeouts (!!!!!). That’s the Justin Verlander we know and love. That other dude– the guy who threw a million pitches by the third inning, the guy who couldn’t get through a game without at least one disastrous frame– was VerlanderLite. And it’s not that I’m automatically opposed to the ‘lite’ versions of things, honest! I mean Paws knows that I prefer skim milk to whole. But when it comes to Verlanders, I prefer the full-flavored version. I don’t like to see my Verlanders attenuated. I think you may agree.

Verlander tonight was back in robust, dominant form. He was consistently hitting 98, 99 on the gun, dropping down to the high-mid 70s for his offspeed stuff. If he had been just a LITTLE more efficient, we might have gotten a complete or nearly complete game out of him, which would have been nice, because then we would have been spared the exposure to FERNANDO.

Actually I’m not entirely sure why we saw Fernando Rodney in the 9th tonight, in a non-save situation, when we had Zumaya ready in the ‘pen and Fernando had pitched just the night before. I know that he threw fewer than twenty pitches on Sunday, but it still seems weird to me. If nothing else I am not entirely comfortable with Leyland pitching a guy on consecutive nights when there truly is no need to do so at the time, AND that guy has a long, well-documented history of arm tendonitis/inflammation issues.

But whatever, I refuse to let Fernando harsh my Verlander squee. Justin Verlander dominated the Mystique and Aura right out of the Yankees. It was a thing of beauty. He was, as described by Rod and Mario, scowling intensely on the mound and in the dugout, I suppose as a sign that he was deep in The Zone. In fact the expression on Justin’s face at one point prompted Rod to say, in a half-admiring, half-gleeful tone, “You’d hate to meet HIM in a dark alley!”

Justin Verlander: he will beat you up. In dark alleys.

Magglio Ordonez hit a big home run that wasn’t actually TOO big (it dinked off the top of the outfield wall), but hopefully it will have the psychological impact that any homer would have had, and Maggs can stop psyching himself out at the plate now that that’s out of the way.

Tuesday’s game pits Phil Hughes against the awesome power that is Edwin Jackson. Let’s do this again, shall we?

8 responses to “Oh hey there Justin Verlander, where've you been?

  1. Oh Justin, it was good to see him pitching like we know he should again.
    And nothing warms my heart more than to watch the Yankees flounder… tomorrow night should be more of the same if the matchup is any indication. Here’s to stringing more wins together and keeping the Hamsters coming to the clubhouse!

  2. Oh Sam,
    Just when I think you can’t possibly outdo yourself with photo illustrations, there you go…
    Bond… Justin Bond…

  3. Justin was overpowering. If he can keep on doing this, and Bondo returns….

  4. “Attenuated Verlander” = Zach Miner?
    Also, PAWS doesn’t like lower-case letters in his name.

  5. Paul M, my heart was thoroughly warmed thanks to the Red Sox this past weekend! :D
    Heitk1le, that’s RotT, always striving for greater heights, better things, bigger thrills, more of Justin Verlander in a suit.
    Leshnock, speak not the words! Jinx not our potential!!!
    Mike, a fascinating theory. Hmm…
    Maybe we should look into this….

  6. Minor + Goatee = hideous

  7. ivantopumpyouup

    Hasn’t Miner had facial hair before though? Leave it to the pros, Zach.

  8. Samara Pearlstein

    The picture linked up there is Miner with Verlander’s goatee, though… maybe he needs his own facial hair for it to work properly.

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