illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Nine innings. Zero runs. One walk. Two hits. TWELVE strikeouts. You know, just another Justin Verlander start. No big deal.
Justin Verlander no-hit the Racist Logos for 7.1 innings. Again, no big deal. This is just how Justin Verlander pitches. He throws 98mph after he’s thrown 98 pitches and he makes it look effortless. He mows through lineups like Alex Avila mows through razor blades. He gazes upon Grady Sizemore, and Grady Sizemore wees just a little bit at the plate. The homeplate ump politely refrains from mentioning it.
Justin Verlander strikes out everyone, everything, everywhere. If you think you haven’t been struck out by Justin Verlander yet, it’s because he threw the ball so fast that your merely mortal senses simply could not register it. That noise you heard, the one you thought was maybe an airplane going by overhead, or a truck backfiring, or some minor construction incident? Yeah, that was Justin Verlander’s third strike blowing past you, busting up that sound barrier like it ain’t no thang. You may say, hey, I don’t even play professional baseball! but let me assure you, that is no obstacle to Justin Verlander. He struck you out days ago, you just haven’t noticed yet.
When asked, after the game, why he left Justin Verlander in to pitch the 9th, even though he had Valverde up in the ‘pen, Jim Leyland said, “Well, I want to keep my job for at least one more day.” For once I will not argue with his decision.
Justin Verlander for President of the United Streets of Detroit. Justin Verlander for King of Strikeouts. Justin Verlander for Emperor of Baseball and the World.