Verlander on ugly All-Star start: 'It wasn't for lack of effort'

Verlander on ugly All-Star start: 'It wasn't for lack of effort'
October 24, 2012, 2:26 am
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SAN FRANCISCO Once upon a time, Justin Verlander allowed five runs in a single inning andlooked like a mere mortal.That time was the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City, where a trio of Giants helped chase the Tigersace from the midsummer classic.With one out in the first, the since-suspended Melky Cabrera singled offVerlander and came around to score when Brewers slugger Ryan Braun doubled. AfterVerlander struck out Joey Votto looking, Buster Posey extended the inning witha walk and came around to score on PabloSandovals triple.Joe Nathan replaced Verlander to start the second and the National Leaguerolled to an 8-0 win that is the reason why the World Series is starting in San Francisco.On Tuesday, at World Series workout day at AT&T Park, Verlander re-examinedthat start, in which his postgame comments included the admission that he wastrying to throw as hard as possible.Yeah, I tried to throw the ball hard. I wasn't not tryingto get people out.There's a difference.You know, when I'm throwing100 in the 9th I'm trying to get people out, too, it just so happens I wantedto do it in the first and it didn't work out well. It wasn't for lack of effort.Verlander said the All-Star protocol, in which startingpitchers rarely work more than two or three innings, threw him off his game.Normally I'm not just pitching one inning, two innings atthe most. So it was a different opportunity for me.I treated it almostlike I was coming out of the bullpen, knowing I could go one or two innings. Itwas just a different scenario altogether.Do I wish it would have workedout a little bit better and we'd be at home right now?Absolutely, but itdidn't, and we're here.Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided against starting Verlander on short rest inGame 4 to set him up for a potential Game 7 start. Thats the luxury he haswith a talented playoff rotation that also includes Doug Fister, Anibal Sanchezand Max Scherzer.
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We think we have our pitching set up the way we want it, Leyland said.Some people have asked about shouldhe pitch in the fourth game, but because of his little bit of setbacksrecently, not too recently, but with the celebration and prior to that with alittle tired arm, we decided this was the best way to go. I feel comfortablewith all my pitchers.While Justin Verlander has been lights out this postseason, his previous WorldSeries experience ended with an 0-2 record and 5.73 ERA in the Tigers loss tothe Cardinals in 2006, Verlanders rookie year.It was my rookie year and everything was kind of awhirlwind, and I don't think I really appreciated the magnitude of how hard itis to get there, Verlander said. You know, I think I had a rude awakening inthe years after that, and I think it allows me to appreciate it all the morethat I'm here now and getting the opportunity to start Game 1 again.