When you absolutely, positively need a victory, there's no better pitcher to have than the reigning Cy Young and MVP winner. As Justin Verlander came off the mound in the 8th inning of the deciding Game 5 against the Oakland A's, he pumped his right fist, finally showing some emotion as he smelled the victory. At that point, Verlander had thrown 111 pitches, a pitch count just low enough for him to be able to head back out for the ninth. As if there was any doubt. "He's the man," Prince Fielder told TBS in the clubhouse after the game. "He's our guy. If we have one game to play, he's the one I want pitching." The final 6-0 score does not accurately reflect how close Game 5 was and how much the Tigers relied on Verlander's dominance in a complete game shutout. Through the first seven innings, Verlander allowed just two hits, a double to Yoenis Cespedes in the first and a single to Brandon Moss in the fifth. Until the seventh, the Tigers had managed just two runs against A's rookie Jarrod Parker, on an RBI single by Austin Jackson and then Jackson scoring on a wild pitch. Verlander had to be at his best and he was, walking just one and striking out 11 for his second victory of the ALDS.
Verlander aces winner-take-all test
Fox Sports Detroit | Oct 12