All-Star Game 2012: Verlander Out, Joe Nathan In, Joe Buck Steals Tim McCarver's Thunder

I think we can all agree now that Justin Verlander is something of a mirage. Was never really that talented. His career All-Star Game ERA is now tied with Van Mungo. This is the second Van Mungo reference on Baseball Nation today, which is why you come here. And now that we know Justin Verlander isn't that good, we can just move on.

But Joe Nathan is really talented, and it's easy to forget that. Mariano Rivera (rightfully) gets all of the press, but Nathan's been one of the best closers of his generation. When he got hurt, it seemed like people figured out he was done for. Maybe he'd have a decent comeback for a while, but the old Nathan was surely gone. He was pretty bad last year, remember.

Year Age ERA IP BB SO
2012 37 1.73 36.1 4 45


Nope. Even better. And he retired the National League in order in the second inning, with a little help from Jose Bautista:

And apropos of nothing, here are Joe Buck and Tim McCarver arguing like an old married couple:

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