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Justin Verlander gives strong indication that he is back with Kate Upton

Kate-Upton-mascot-proposal

Justin Verlander and Kate Upton must be back together. The two were flirting on Twitter last month amid reports of them being spotted at a Philadelphia Flyers game together and vacationing together in the Bahamas. Over the weekend, Verlander gave us an even stronger indication when the Orlando Magic mascot hit on Upton.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model posted the photo you see above on Twitter Friday night and thanked Stuff the Magic Dragon for proposing to her and giving her a ring. Verlander joked about it on Twitter with this reaction:

You can safely file that one under “stuff boyfriends say.” The Detroit Tigers star later sent another flirty tweet.

The only bad news here for Verlander is that we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of Kate surprising us all when she publicly denied that she and Justin are together. Here’s hoping Valentine’s Day treats him a little better this time around.

H/T The Big Lead

Justin Verlander and Kate Upton flirting on Twitter

Justin Verlander Kate Upton

Every sign seems to point to Justin Verlander and Kate Upton being back together as boyfriend-girlfriend.

Last week we told you that the Detroit Tigers ace and supermodel were spotted at a Philadelphia Flyers game. US Weekly then reported that the two vacationed in the Bahamas together last weekend and were “looking very cozy.”

The two also have not been shy about interacting over social media.

When Verlander sent his tweet Sunday about how Richard Sherman would get thrown at if he played baseball, Upton added something about Verlander being a Virginia boy:

Verlander then tweeted back:

A few days later there was more.

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Justin Verlander: Richard Sherman would get thrown at if he played baseball

Justin Verlander

If Richard Sherman played baseball, Justin Verlander knows exactly what would happen to him.

The Detroit Tigers ace pitcher sent a tweet after watching Sherman’s antics at the end of the NFC Championship Game on Sunday and said Sherman would get a “high and tight fastball” if he played baseball.

That was the money part of his tweet. The overlooked part is that Verlander called Russell Wilson a “class act,” which is a nice compliment to the Seattle QB and pretty much how most people view him.

The thing about Sherman, though, is that you could give him a brush back pitch or two, but he’d confidently step back into the box and hit a home run. He only gets away with talking trash because, dang, he’s been backing it up on the field all season.

Justin Verlander and Kate Upton went to the Flyers game together

Kate-Upton-Justin-Verlander

Rumors of Kate Upton dating Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander have existed for well over a year. Upton threw some water on the fire last February during an interview around Valentine’s Day when she declared herself single. On Saturday, the Cy Young Award winner and bikini dominator attended a Philadelphia Flyers game together.

As you can see from the photo above that Twitter user @charlton_dylan shared, Upton and Verlander sat together in some box seats. Several other people tweeted during the game that they spotted the two together at the Wells Fargo Center.

We’d say that Upton and Verlander have probably just been friends since the rumors began swirling, but even Verlander’s grandfather once said the two were a couple. It’s also worth noting that Upton reportedly broke up with “Dancing With the Stars” veteran Maksim Chmerkovskiy a few weeks ago. Coincidence? I guess it could be.

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Justin Verlander: Shane Victorino is ‘looking to get hit’

Shane-Victorino-hit-by-pitchBoston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino has practically eliminated the possibility of opposing pitchers pitching him inside this season. Because of a hamstring injury, the switch-hitting Victorino has been batting right-handed for most of the year. When he bats from the right side, Victorino crowds the crap out of the plate.

As a result, he has turned himself into a walking bruise and already tied the record for being hit by the most pitches in a single postseason. Victorino has been hit nine times. Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander feels The Flyin’ Hawaiian is wearing some of those pitches on purpose.

“I’ve seen some pitches that he got hit on that were strikes,” Verlander said on Monday, via Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe. “So, I mean, I don’t think you can worry about that. I think just whoever is the home plate umpire needs to be aware that he’s up there.

“Anything on the inner half, occasionally he’s looking to get hit. He’s up there, he’s right on top of the plate. And his arms are over the batter’s box and over part of the plate. If he doesn’t get out of the way, there could be an occasion that it could be a strike and it actually hits him.”

Unless he physically leans into the pitch (which Victorino may or may not have done this postseason), there is nothing illegal about the way he’s standing. And even if it was against the rules, the 32-year-old veteran knows most umpires would never call it. When asked about Verlander’s comments, Victorino said he is disappointed Verlander thinks he has been hit by strikes.

“It’s not like the umpires don’t know that I’m close to the plate,” Victorino said, via MLive.com’s Evan Drellich. “But you know, I’m not going to alter my approach and nor do I expect a pitcher to change theirs. Other than the fact, the only part that disappoints me in that quote, he thinks I’m getting hit by strikes. To me that’s — that to me is what disappoints me more than anything.”

Victorino has given new meaning to the phrase “take one for the team.” Game 3 of the ALCS is a bad time to change anything you’ve been doing all season.

H/T Hardball Talk

Justin Verlander says he was ‘running on fumes’ after eighth

Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander polished off the Oakland Athletics for the fourth straight time in the playoffs, allowing just two hits and one walk over eight scoreless innings in a 3-0 Game 5 ALDS win on Thursday. With the way Verlander was rolling — he had a perfect game through five and no-hitter through six — many wondered why manager Jim Leyland would lift him before the ninth and risk putting the game in the hands of the bullpen. Verlander had thrown 111 pitches, which is a lot, but the ace has thrown more than that many times in the past.

After the game, Verlander said he admitted to his coaches that he didn’t have much left after the eighth, but that he still wanted to pitch the ninth.

“I told them, ‘I’m running on fumes here, but send me back out there and let’s see what happens if I get three up and three down.’ Jim (Leyland) told me we don’t want to bring in our closer with men on base and a sticky situation (if I let a runner on) and they take me out. So that made sense to me and (Joaquin) Benoit’s been great all year,” Verlander told TBS’ David Aldridge after the game.

Aldridge also asked if that was the best command Verlander ever had of his pitches — which seemed like a pretty unlikely possibility given that Verlander has thrown no-hitters before — and the pitcher said it wasn’t quite his best.

“Not the best ever, but it felt good out there. It’s the first time in a while my changeup’s felt really good. Obviously this lineup with a bunch of left-handed hitters, that was a big pitch for me.”

Verlander has now thrown 30 consecutive scoreless innings in the playoffs against the A’s. Does he own them in the postseason or what? You almost have to feel badly for Oakland. So much for those Kate Upton cutouts serving as a distraction to the pitcher, huh?

Yoenis Cespedes breaks up Justin Verlander no-hitter with single (Video)

Justin Verlander was looking to become just the third pitcher in MLB history to throw a no-hitter in the postseason, but his bid came up short after he allowed a single to Yoenis Cespedes with two outs in the seventh of Game 5 of the ALDS on Thursday.

Yoenis CespedesVerlander retired the first two batters of the seventh, but he fell behind 1-0 to Cespedes and allowed a hard ground ball up the middle for a hit. Verlander wanted to go outside to Cespedes and hit his spot on the corner, but the Cuban outfielder delivered a shot up the middle for the hit. You can’t really complain about losing a no-hitter on such a clean shot.

After giving up the hit, Verlander struck out Seth Smith to end the inning.

Verlander actually had a perfect game going until the sixth when he walked Josh Reddick.

Verlander has thrown two no-hitters in his MLB career and was looking for his third. His first came in 2007 against the Milwaukee Brewers, and the other came in 2011 against the Toronto Blue Jays, when he walked one batter and faced the minimum of 27.

To show his level of dominance against the A’s, we’ll share this stat via Elias Sports Bureau: Verlander’s 30 consecutive scoreless innings against the A’s in the playoffs is a postseason record for any pitcher against one team.

Verlander allowed a run in the first inning of Game 1 of the 2012 ALDS against the A’s and then shut them out the next six innings. He pitched a 9-inning complete game shutout against the A’s in Game 5 of the 2012 ALDS. He went seven scoreless in Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS, and eight more scoreless in Game 5 of the 2013 ALDS.