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Verlander pitches a gem, it must be May: Tigers 5, Angels 1

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Final - 5.2.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Los Angeles Angels 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 4 0
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 0 X 5 11 0
WP: Justin Verlander (2 - 2)
LP: Jered Weaver (3 - 1)

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During spring training, Jim Leyland talked about using a visiting manager's office where the calendars were stuck on August. Little did he know, he stumbled into a great way to keep Justin Verlander pitching well all season.

Change all calendars to May before Justin walks into the room.

Goodbye, 5.53 ERA in April.

Hello near-masterpiece to begin May on the right foot.

And this is not just some recent pattern for young Mr. Verlander.

In 2009 his April ERA 6.76. He won five games with a 1.52 ERA in May. In 2008, his ERA was 6.60. In May, 3.92.

Sunday, he blew through the Angels lineup. After Torii Hunter singled in the first inning, no one reached first base against Verlander until an out into the ninth. And it took a pinch hitter, at that!

Unfortunately, we see how hard it is for a pitcher to get a complete game shutout, and Verlander couldn't hold onto his either.

I don't think you'll find anyone complaining that the pitch-count handcuff Leyland threatened Verlander with lasted exactly zero games. Unless the pitch count was 120, which, just gonna go out on a limb here, it probably wasn't. In any case, the good news is that Verlander was quite efficient for most of the game.

Fortunately, he got the run support he needed during a four-run fifth inning and an extra run in the sixth to come away with the win. And Detroit came away with a fifth consecutive win and a sweep of the Angels.

Onward to Minnesota the Tigers go.

Bullets!

  • It's .420 somewhere! Both Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon have gotten on base 42 percent of the time. Jackson had three hits. Damon went 0-for-5, however.
  • Alex Avila may be looking up at Mendoza, but at least he crossed the .100 mark for batting average with a pair of hits.

Comment of the Night

More like Photoshop of the night, really. Grant E made a great poster as the campaign to name Jackson "The Cleaner" continues. Props go to the Boeschwagon, too, from handsomerob1.

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