The first portion of the following column ran in this week's Tecumseh Herald but I've added additional highlights and personal notes from the Tigers' game that readers may, or may not, find interesting.
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Comerica Park was sold out as Justin Verlander attempted to pick up his 25th win of the season last Saturday and despite being given a no-decision I was glad I went to see it.
The Tigers lost 6-5 against the Orioles but I was able to watch local hero Duane Below in action — before the game even started. He’s been turned into somewhat of a utility player as the Tigers scour their roster deciding who will advance into the post-season. Below caught the first pitch in front of a sold-out Comerica Park.
I caught up with Below in the Tigers’ Clubhouse after interviewing a calm but noticeably perturbed Verlander.
The Tiger’s ace and Cy Young award contender said his poor outing wasn’t a case of being nervous. It was a matter of not getting ahead in the count that was his problem.
“I put myself in a couple of jams and they came out big,” Verlander said. “You’ve got to be able to turn the page quick in this game, so, after three innings we’re down five nothing and my job from there is to go out and keep zeros up on the board and give our offense a chance, because with this offense you never know — we came pretty close.”
Verlander is in the running for Major League Baseball’s MVP award and has been compared to some of the game’s greatest as of late, but he said he doesn’t worry about that stuff — he steps to the mound and just thinks about getting the job done each and every game.