Through seven innings, the Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander had no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates, issuing just two walks, one to Neil Walker and one to Andrew McCutchen, with nine strikeouts. He had thrown 82 pitches, 57 for strikes. The Tigers made two defensive replacements: Ramon Santiago at second base, and Ryan Raburn moving to right field from second base, replacing Brennan Boesch.
So, onward the game went into the top of the eighth in Detroit. Excitement building!
The leadoff hitter was Casey McGehee, the Pirates’ first baseman. Verlander struck him out on three pitches for his 10th strikeout.
Next up: Nate McLouth, who had grounded out in his first two times at bat. Verlander ran the count to 3-1 before getting McLouth swinging on a 99 mile-per-hour fastball. Verlander’s velocity seems to be getting higher as the game continues.
His first pitch to Clint Barmes was a 100 mile-per-hour fastball for strike one. After ball one, Barmes swung at an 82 mile-per-hour changeup in the dirt and struck out swinging on another ball out of the zone.
That gives Verlander 12 K’s in eight innings and three outs to go for history.