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.
Verlander 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.