The pitch count reached 120 for Justin Verlander. He was about to call it an evening.

Back in Mickey Lolich's day, 120 pitches was just warming up.

"I'm a dinosaur," Lolich said Saturday night. "And dinosaurs are dead."

But if there's a throwback to baseball's Paleolithic age when pitchers consistently hurled thunderbolts with few physical consequences, it's Verlander. He had a few Athletics risking getting kicked out of the game for questioning the strike zone of plate umpire Jim Reynolds.

Aside from a first-inning, first-batter mistake, Verlander was virtually untouchable -- giving the Tigers the jump they needed in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Comerica Park.

Verlander's 11 strikeouts -- including five straight in the sixth and seventh innings -- more than compensated for the four walks he surrendered.