Hard-throwing Verlander rocked in All-Star start

BY foxsports • July 11, 2012

Apparently, the All-Star hat trick was not meant to be for the Detroit Tigers.

Prospect Nick Castellanos won the MVP Award for the Futures Game Sunday and Prince Fielder won the Home Run Derby Monday, but the game itself was a bit of a bust for Detroit fans.

The National League shut out the American League, 8-0, ensuring the National League representative will have home-field advantage in the World Series.

Reigning AL MVP and Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, making his first All-Star Game start, had an unenviable line in his one inning: 1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.

His ERA? 45.00.

That was not exactly what most people expected.

But Verlander, knowing he was not going to pitch an entire game and wanting to please the fans, brought the heat early and often.

"I know the fans don't want to see me throw 90 and hit the corners," Verlander told reporters in Kansas City after he came out of the game. "They want to see the 100-mile-per-hour fastball."

His first pitch to Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez was a 97-mile-an-hour fastball. San Francisco's Melky Cabrera, the second batter, singled on a 98-mile-an-hour fastball. Milwaukee's Ryan Braun doubled on a 98-mile-an-hour fastball. Cincinnati's Joey Votto saw a 100-mile-an-hour heater but struck out on one of Verlander's signature curveballs. St. Louis' Carlos Beltran walked on a 101-mile-an-hour pitch.

"That's why I don't try to throw 100 in the first inning," Verlander said. "It doesn't usually work out. It's really hard for me to command (the 100-mile-an-hour fastball) when I haven't established my delivery early in the game."

San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval had a bases-clearing triple off of Verlander, but still came away impressed with the Tigers' ace.

"The triple was exciting, especially going against one of the best pitchers in the big leagues," Sandoval said via Twitter during the game. "Verlander throws SO HARD."

Verlander ended up facing nine batters in his one inning of work. He was originally supposed to go two innings, but ended up throwing 35 pitches in the first.

"I was able to laugh about it right away," Verlander said. "Hey, I had fun."

Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington replaced Verlander with his own closer, Joe Nathan.

Meanwhile, Fielder, voted as a starter at first base by the fans, went 0-for-2. He hit one ball hard to left field, which was run down by Braun, Fielder's former Brewers teammate.

Miguel Cabrera, a reserve on the American League squad, faced the New York Mets' R.A. Dickey in the sixth, and grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Melky Cabrera, who went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run, was named MVP.

As for Verlander, he'll be back on the mound pitching for real on Sunday in Baltimore.

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