Verlander takes place in Detroit history
Right-hander becomes sixth Tiger to toss no-hitter
DETROIT -- The Tigers have had one of the longest stays as a Major League franchise. But, surprisingly, their list of no-hitters is relatively brief.The Tigers have had just five no-hitters since they became an official team in 1901. That is, they had just five no-hitters until Justin Verlander made history on Tuesday against the Brewers. Verlander threw the sixth no-hitter in Tigers history on Tuesday and the first since Jack Morris didn't allow a hit on April 7, 1984, at Comiskey Park against the White Sox. "Well, it just doesn't happen very often," manager Jim Leyland said after the game. "A lot of things go through your mind when something like this happens." Verlander didn't have a chance for a perfect game when he walked Bill Hall with one out in the fourth. He would go on to walk four batters in the game, including all three times he faced Hall. There were tense moments for Verlander, including a sliding catch from Magglio Ordonez in the seventh, but no runner ever advanced past first base. Morris had even more tense moments during his no-hitter. Morris walked the bases loaded with no outs in the fourth inning of his no-hitter. He worked out of the jam with a double play and a strikeout. Morris walked six in that game but didn't allow a run in a 4-0 Tigers win. While Tigers fans had to wait 23 years between no-hitters, there was almost an equal amount of time between no-no's before '84. Twenty-six years passed after Jim Bunning threw a no-hitter on July 20, 1958, against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. Bunning struck out twelve and walked two in his game against a Red Sox lineup that featured Ted Williams. Williams went 0-for-4 against Bunning, who went on to finish the year at 14-12. While Bunning's record in '58 may be considered mediocre for a pitcher that completed a no-hitter, he was downright stellar compared to the bizarre season Virgil Trucks had in 1952 when he threw two no-hitters in 1952. Trucks threw a pair of no-hitters in '52, though it was one of the worst seasons of his career. He went 5-19 that season for a Tigers team that finished with a 50-104 record. Both of his no-hitters were 1-0 wins, with the first coming on May 15 against Washington at Briggs Stadium. It was the last time a Tigers pitcher had thrown a no-hitter in Detroit.
The second no-hitter for Trucks came over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 25. The Yankees had a lineup that featured Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Phil Rizzuto.It was the worst season statistically for Trucks in his career, though he would finish fifth in the American League Most Valuable Player voting one year later with a 20-10 record and 2.93 ERA. The first no-hitter in Tigers history came on July 14, 1912. George Mullin defeated St. Louis, 7-0, in that game at Navin Field. Forty years would pass before Trucks threw his no-hitter in 1952. While the no-hitters have been sparse for the Tigers, they have been no-hit 12 times. The last one came on June 2, 1990, at the Kingdome against the Mariners' Randy Johnson, who was in just his third year as a pro. No Tigers pitcher ever threw a no-hitter in the history of Tiger Stadium, though they were no-hit twice by opposing pitchers at Tiger Stadium.
Tim Kirby is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.