Ausmus: Review choice no factor in lost no-no
DETROIT -- After further review, the Tigers didn't need the insurance run they were trying for in the eighth, not with Justin Verlander dealing. The way this season has gone, though, a no-hit bid wouldn't have stopped manager Brad Ausmus from fighting for it.
As Verlander took the mound for the ninth in Wednesday night's 5-0 Tigers win over the Angels, a third career no-hitter within reach, he had to wait for a few seconds to make sure that the eighth inning was actually over. With a close play at first base on Rajai Davis' groundout, Ausmus held up the umpiring crew to give replay coordinator Matt Martin a chance to see if it was worth using their challenge.
They decided against it, and Verlander began warming up before giving up a Chris Iannetta double to start the ninth. But Ausmus said the no-hit bid didn't factor into his decision.
"If Raj is safe, we have bases loaded and [Ian Kinsler] up. You've still got to win the game," Ausmus said. "As much as we want Ver to get the no-hitter, the more important thing is to get the win. I remember as a player, as a catcher, you'd love for the guy to get the no-hitter, but unfortunately on the pecking order, that comes in second.
"It was a close enough play that we had to take a look. If Ver had known that we were looking at it, he probably would have held himself off in the dugout and it wouldn't have mattered. There was a slight delay, but I really wouldn't say it had any impact."
Verlander said it didn't make a difference. He waited until he was sure there was no challenge before starting his warmup tosses.
"I just kind of went back out," Verlander said. "It didn't bother me. I mean, I didn't want to dwell on it. I waited. It didn't bother me."
The Tigers have had their share of late-inning losses this season. They watched a five-run lead in the ninth inning disappear with a seven-run Twins rally July 10 at Minnesota. They had just watched a Buck Farmer shutout bid unravel with a 10-run sixth inning Monday night in Cincinnati, with the bulk of the damage off the bullpen.