The Tigers asked Justin Verlander to deliver a big performance in ALDS Game 5 against the Athletics, and that's exactly what he did. The former AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner held Oakland hitless through 6 2/3 innings before Yoenis Cespedes singled back up the middle.
Here's the base hit that ended Verlander's run at history:
Verlander, 30, threw 94 pitches before allowing the base hit. He's shown time and time again that he's good for 130 or so pitches in a start if need be, so pitch count was never really a concern. It almost never is. Josh Reddick drew a walk with one out in the sixth to break up the perfect game.
In 34 starts this year, Verlander went 13-12 with a 3.46 ERA (121 ERA+) with a 1.32 WHIP and 2.89 K/BB in 218 1/3 innings. That's a career year for most pitchers but a down year for Verlander. He struck out 11 Athletics in seven scoreless innings in Game 2 of the ALDS.
Verlander has thrown two regular season no-hitters in his career -- one in June 2007 and another in May 2011. Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series and Roy Halladay's no-hitter in the 2010 NLDS are the only no-hitters in postseason history.
The Athletics were last no-hit in June 1991. Four Orioles pitchers combined for the no-hit effort in that game.