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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-15

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-15

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-15
What's up with Justin Verlander?

All of a sudden a right-hander who was struggling to win games has become a truly dominating pitcher.

A pitcher who gave up 24 runs (21 earned) in his first four starts has allowed just three runs in his last four -- and two of those scored after Verlander left Thursday's start.

Verlander has had good stuff all season, but some bad breaks and some bad pitches plagued him early in the season.

His recent starts have been marked by extensive use of a high-velocity four-seam fastball (he was using more two-seam sinkers last year) with some off-the-table curves and a sprinkling of changeups.

Fastball location was a problem for Verlander in 2008, but in his recent run it has not been.

Some minor tinkering with his delivery has yielded results. He lowered his arm angle a touch, is more balanced over the rubber and is a little softer landing on his front foot.

Manager Jim Leyland stressed better between-starts preparation and Verlander seems to have taken that to heart.

Whether he can weather the sure-to-come bad starts and make adjustments coming out of them remains to be seen.

TWINS 6, TIGERS 5: Bullpen woes are plaguing the Tigers again. Relievers Bobby Seay and Zach Miner faltered while Minnesota was scoring six times in the seventh inning to negate the five runs the Tigers had scored in the top of the sixth.

Justin Verlander notched a career-high 13 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings but was lifted after a single and a walk because he had thrown 122 pitches. The Tigers' inability to hold Joe Crede in check cost them a win for the second straight game.

Crede's grand slam ended Wednesday's game in the 13th inning, and his bloop two-run single to center capped the six-run seventh Thursday. Ramon Santiago's two-out RBI double broke a scoreless tie in the sixth. Magglio Ordonez and Clete Thomas added two-run singles later in the inning. The Tigers ended their trip 3-4, getting swept by Minnesota after sweeping Cleveland.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 15, 2009

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