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Justin Verlander wanted to pitch the ninth inning against the A's

October 11, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • Justin Verlander would match up well against Clayton Kershaw.
Justin Verlander would match up well against Clayton Kershaw. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images )

How good is Justin Verlander? Not only did he shut down the Oakland Athletics in Detroit's clinching 3-0 victory in the American League division series on Thursday, he wanted to pitch the ninth inning despite being exhausted.

Verlander gave up two hits, one walk and struck out 10 over eight innings, and many wondered why Manager Jim Leyland removed him and brought in Joaquin Benoit to pitch the ninth. Verlander explained all after the game in an interview with TBS' David Aldridge.

“I told him, 'I’m running on fumes here, but send me back out there and let’s see what happens if I get three up and three down.' Jim told me we don’t want to bring in our closer with men on base and a sticky situation. So that made sense to me, and Benoit’s been great all year.”

If the Dodgers make the World Series (and that's a big if considering they are playing the Cardinals), then the Tigers have the one pitcher who could match up just fine with Clayton Kershaw. It would be fun to see the two of them pitch against each other.


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