(Did Erick Aybar break one of baseball’s unwritten rules when he bunted during Justin Verlander’s no-hit bid? Vote here.)
To bunt or not to bunt — that is the question.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander flirted with becoming only the second pitcher to throw two no-hitters in a single season on Sunday.
Maicer Izturis made sure that didn’t happen with a two-out single in the eighth inning.
But the lasting image of Verlander’s nearly-perfect outing will be Erick Aybar laying down a bunt earlier in the inning with the no-no bid still in tact. Verlander fielded the ball and threw it wide of first base, allowing Aybar to reach and setting the table for the Izturis hit.
With two no-hitters to his name already, Verlander was vying to become the sixth pitcher to throw three in his career. Needless to say, Aybar’s bunt was not well received by the AL Cy Young front runner:
“I know it was only 3-0, so I can understand there are arguments on both sides, but as a pitcher, we call that bush league.”
Angels pitcher Jered Weaver — a fellow Cy Young contender — decided enough was enough after Guillen posted at the plate and hopped toward first with his best Sammy Sosa impersonation. His next fastball went over Alex Avila, resulting in the immediate ejections of both Weaver and manager Mike Scioscia.
“I’m not going to go out there and try to hit somebody or hurt somebody. ... But what Guillen did, I’m not going to just go out there and take that. I’m a competitor. I’m not going to show anyone up. But after what they did, I’m not going to take that.”
What’s your take?
In the end, Angels veteran outfield Torii Hunter summed it all up quite nicely.
“That was stupid — it was all stupid. Everybody was stupid.”