Have you ever wondered what it's like to face a 100 mile per hour fastball? "It's always a
challenge," says the Yankees Nick Swisher. Shin-Soo Choo of the Indians says the ball kind of takes off
when it's coming toward the hitter. "Of course it's going to take off when it's going 100," says Derek Jeter.
Choo says, "You get a lot of foul balls."
Verlander enters tonight's game 11-7 with a 2.63 ERA. He's had some hard luck this season.
Still, he's pitched well enough to repeat as the league's Cy Young Award winner. Verlander should win 18
or so games this season. That would give him 125 for his career, leaving him less than 100 behind
Tigers all-time leader George "Hooks" Dauss.
Verlander, of course, has a fastball that can get up to 101 miles per hour. He also has one of the
game's best curveballs. He also has a very good change up and slider. He occasionally will throw a
two-seam fastball. Yankees manager, Joe Girardi, says, "We've seen him a lot. A lot of times, if you're
going to get to him, you're going to get to him early. That's the way he is. He's got four swing-and-
miss pitches. We've got to put tough at-bats on him and try to make him work."
"It's a challenge," says Jeter. "He knows how to pitch. He throws hard. He's a power-pitcher.
He's a strike-out guy. He's a guy who wants to finish games. He's a competitor. Not too many people
can throw that hard. It's not every day you see a guy throw 100. Especially a starter. Sometimes a guy
in the bullpen will do it, but not a starter. He's one of those rare breeds."
Despite the fact that Verlander can throw hard enough to maim someone if the ball were to hit a
player, no player will admit he's intimidated. "No," says Swisher. "Maybe some of these guys, but not
me. He's got good stuff. Everybody knows that."
The Tigers bullpen might be a bit taxed right now, given Sunday's lengthy contest with the Indians.
Jim Leyland isn't too worried. Generally, a Verlander start means it's a night off for most of the bullpen.
"This is one of those games where you hope your ace is an ace."
Yankees Talk About Facing Verlander