Verlander gets the no hitter here at Comerica Park. I was there and here are the details:
Hondo S. Carpenter
June 12, 2007
What a gorgeous night it was here at COPA for a baseball game, and over 33,000 people left having been able to witness something that will be talked about for years.Â Justin Verlander, the tall lanky righthander wowed with double digit strike outs (12 for the game) and more importantly a no hitter.
I sat here in the press box and was mesmerized by it myself.Â I have called Verlander â€œRocketâ€ since he broke into the bigs and he and I have always had a good laugh about it.Â I told him after the game that he made me look like a prophet.Â His big smile seemed to last ear to ear and he said,Â â€œWow, I guess you were!â€
The pride of the Tigers in their young star was just another example of how this once down trodden franchise has turned the corner as a model to all pro franchises.
In the seventh inning, Verlanderâ€™s chance at history was almost taken away as the crowd held their collective breath when the Brewers right fielder Corey Hart hit a screamer towards right field that looked like a sure hit.Â Magglio Ordonez had other ideas and made a spectacular, feet first diving catch that brought the already rowdy crowd to itâ€™s feet and got Mags a finger point from the Tigers young gun.Â Verlander said this about the play, â€œYeah I was worried but I noticed he had a bead on it and that was a great catch.â€Â Mags however didnâ€™t want to take credit with the play; he continued being the ultimate teammate that he has demonstrated since coming to the D by saying, â€œI didnâ€™t do nothing.â€Â I asked Mags however if he would get at least a dinner out of Verlander for the play and he said hopefully more.
The choicest words of the night however came from the Tigers manager Jim Leyland who in his office after the game had this to say when I asked the crying skipper if it was special because Verlander is such a special guy.Â With tears flowing he said, â€œIt will be extra special if I donâ€™t get snot all over your mic.â€
Not only was it great to witness and be apart of history tonight here at the Old Ballpark, it was great to see one of the great young players and people accomplish it.Â I remember talking with Verlander last year at his locker on the day the Sports Illustrated cover of him came out and he told me how he had tried to get them to feature his team mates rather then just him.Â That same class shined through tonight when once again he was on the national stage, and once again he wanted to talk about his team mates.Â
It was the first no hitter in the history of Comerica Park and the first no hitter by a Tiger since April 7, 1984 when Jack Morris threw it.Â Â In 1984 the Tigers went to the World Series and won it, could this be a harbinger?
The great part of the story however was that while Verlander talked about his team, everyone talked about him.Â Â He pitched 112 pitches, 73 were strikes with 12 Kâ€™s and four walks.Â What a magical night for the Tigers, the fans and most of all Verlander.
Make sure you check out all the video of the Tigers post-game celebrations and comments by clicking on the Hondoâ€™s House ICON on the right!Â Video will be up on Wednesday afternoon.