About Last Night: Eye of the Tigers

Justin VerlanderIn case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports on Thursday.

  • Justin Verlander tossed a complete-game shutout, striking out 11 and allowing four hits as the Tigers beat the A’s 6-0 in Game 5 to advance to the ALCS. After the game, the low-budget A’s could be heard marveling at the “pitcher from the big city.” “He stood round ’bouts seven-foot high!” hollered Coco Crisp. “Threw damn near 200 miles an hour!” hooted Stephen Drew. “Man’s arm jest about touched yer cap when he reached out and throwed,” howled Brandon Moss. “Most men take just a speck ah chaw up on that picher’s hill,” yelped general manager Billy Beane, “but damned if ole Verlander warn’t holdin’ an entire tobacky stalk and swallerin’ it jes like a baby carrot!”
  • Buster Posey’s grand slam keyed a six-run fifth inning, and the Giants held on to beat the Reds 6-4 and advance to the National League Championship Series. And now that baseball season is over, the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce will be forced into the awkward position of having to promote nonviolent crime as the city’s main tourist attraction.
  • Jayson Werth launched a game-winning, walk-off home run as the Nationals evened up their NLDS with the Cardinals with a 2-1 win. Werth’s teammates wanted to take him out for a celebratory dinner, but he apologized and told them he wanted to get some sleep because he had “some things to do” early the next morning. Meanwhile, earlier that night, nondescript Washington resident Jason Worth disappointed his friends from the office by saying he planned to just stay in and “finish a crossword puzzle” for the 166th time this year.
  • J.J. Hardy’s RBI double broke a one-all tie in the 13th inning, and the Orioles went on to beat the Yankees 2-1 to force Game 5 in the ALDS. In a move that had to be frustrating to Yankee manager Joe Girardi, struggling third baseman Alex Rodriguez insisted on wearing 3-D goggles during his at-bats, claiming he needed an extra dimension.
  • Rob Bironas hit a 40-yard field goal as time expired to give the Titans a 26-23 comeback win against the Steelers. “I didn’t get to see them, but man, the Bironas Personas must have been going nuts!” said Bironas, referencing a personal fan section which he later admitted was not a real thing.
  • James Young, a 6-foot-6 guard, became the third top-five recruit from the class of 2013 to commit to Kentucky in the past week. “Coach Calipari told me I could be the next Anthony Davis,” said Young. “Then he drew a unibrow on my forehead with a black marker, and made me look at a mirror and tell myself I was beautiful. It sounds pretty weird, now that I say it out loud, but Coach Calipari is just really charming.”
  • UCLA is set to unveil a statue honoring coaching legend John Wooden later this month. According to sources, the statue will show Bill Walton being forced to cut his hair.
  • Dwight Howard told reporters that his back injury became so bad last season that it made his left leg feel “dead.” “I named the leg Eddy Curry,” said Howard. “And I would just berate him constantly. We weren’t close, but I think we learned to respect each other before he left.”
  • Michael Vick confirmed to reporters that he now owns a dog. In the middle of the interview, he paused to glance down at a text message. “Had a dog,” he said, looking annoyed.

Filed Under: About Last Night, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers, Dwight Howard, Justin Verlander, Kentucky, Michael Vick, New York Yankees, Oakland A's, Pittsburgh Steelers, St. Louis Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, UCLA, Washington Nationals

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Shane Ryan is a contributing writer for Grantland. His book about the young stars of the PGA Tour will be published by Random House in early 2015.

Archive @ ShaneRyanHere