Anyone who saw Justin Verlander pitch in Game 5 of the ALDS knows that the Detroit Tigers wouldn’t be contending for a World Series title without No. 35.
Although most Detroit fans will adamantly call Max Scherzer the ace of the Tigers’ staff and rightfully so, it’s Verlander who has proven himself as Detroit’s MVP in this postseason push. The Oakland Athletics will now be forced to watch the rest of the playoffs at home as Verlander’s near-perfect game outing was simply too much for Oakland’s inexperienced bats to handle.
With an ALCS match-up with the Boston Red Sox in the works; Detroit will likely hand Verlander the ball in the crucial Game 4. Tigers’ starting pitchers have been hit or miss thus far, yet Detroit manager Jim Leyland knows exactly what he’s getting when it comes to the 2011 American League MVP. Thus, consistency from Verlander is exactly why he’s the Tigers’ most potent weapon as they head toward the Fall Classic for the second straight year.
Either way, Verlander’s epic Game 5 performance will go down as one of the best performance by a Tigers’ starting pitcher since Game 4 of this series when a somewhat-shaky Scherzer came into the game just to put Oakland’s ALDS-clinching hopes to bed.