To the surprise of no one, Justin Verlander showed no ill effects upon his return to the mound after the brief lighting delay. The light malfunction, coupled with John Lackey's quick 1-2-3 effort in the bottom of the second, meant Verlander sat for a full 24 minutes. That's really not a big deal at all, as that's basically the amount of time a pitcher will sit when his lineup has a big inning at the plate. But the guys back in the studio had to talk about something while the lights were out.
Verlander looks absolutely frightening. At one point he struck out six in a row, which ties the MLB single-game postseason record. It's just a thing the Tigers do: Tigers' starters (Anibal Sanchez in Game 1, Max Scherzer in Game 2 and Verlander today) have struck out 31 in 17 innings so far in this ALCS, giving up only two hits among them. David Ortiz has fared best against Verlander so far, drawing a two-out walk in the first and flying out to deep left field in the fourth.
Red Sox starter John Lackey doesn't think it's such a big deal, though. He struck out four Tigers in a row himself. All you baseball purists, you admirers of the pitchers' duel, take deep breaths. This is about as pitchers' dueliest as it gets.