Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander held the Oakland Athletics at bay Thursday night, amassing 11 strikeouts in a 6-0 shutout that sent the Tigers to the ALCS for the second consecutive season. Verlander was at his best when it mattered most for the Tigers, scattering just four hits across his stellar nine innings of work.
For Al Beaton of Bless You Boys, Game 5 was a reminder that Tigers fans can always rely on Verlander when everything else seems to go wrong:
Can the Tigers bounce back from a heartbreaking, soul-crushing walk off loss? If Justin Verlander has anything to say about it, damn straight the Tigers can.
Doesn't the drama of the past 24 hours feel a tad unwarranted now? As a fan base, we need to remember 4 words: "In Verlander we trust."
Justin Verlander did what big game pitchers do. In a must win game, Verlander put the Tigers on his back and carried them to the ALCS.
Hell, I'm about out of superlatives, Verlander was that damn good.
The Tigers now move on to face the winner of Friday evening's matchup between the Orioles and Yankees. Game 1 of the ALCS is set for a yet-to-be-determined time Saturday. The location of the game will depend on who emerges victorious in Game 5 in New York; if the Yankees win, the ALCS will begin in New York. If the Orioles win, they'll travel to Detroit for Game 1.