Tigers vs. Rangers: Nelson Cruz Goes Deep Again, Now 7-4 Tigers

Before today, Justin Verlander had never thrown more than 132 pitches in one game.

Today, he threw 133 pitches.

His 133rd pitch was 100 miles an hour. Nelson Cruz's fifth postseason home run went the other direction, even harder.

What's perhaps most astounding is that Cruz was so locked in that he almost pulled the ball foul. But instead his titanic blast -- all his blasts seem titanic, lately -- glanced off the fair pole for a homer, which knocked Verlander out of the game in the top of the eighth inning, and made the score Tigers 7, Rangers 4.

Usually a three-run lead would seem completely safe and this one probably is. But with Joaquin Benoit and Jose Valverde supposedly unavailable to manager Jim Leyland, there might yet be some drama in this one. Phil Coke's in now, to face the left-handed hitters. And in the ninth we're probably going to see Ryan Perry, who gave up a walk-off grand slam in Game 2.

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