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Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker explained why he decided to pull Justin Verlander during his no-hitter on Aug. 23 against the Minnesota Twins.
This season, Justin Verlander returned to the Houston Astros after receiving Tommy John surgery. Yet, he is throwing like he did during his prime years, and is the easy favorite to win the AL Cy Young award for the third-time of his career for the 2022 campaign.
On Tuesday, Aug. 23, Verlander was mowing through the Minnesota Twins’ batting order, completing six innings of no-hit baseball. But, he did not return for the seventh inning, as manager Dusty Baker pulled him in favor of Ryne Stanek. In the very first at-bat of the inning, Stanek surrendered a single to former Astros shortstop Carlos Correa to bring an end to the no-hitter.
After the game, Baker was asked about what led to his decision to pull Verlander after six innings with 91 pitches thrown. Baker said it had to do with the team returning to a five-man rotation, hence why they pulled Verlander despite the no-hitter still continuing.
You can listen to Baker’s comments below, courtesy of Jesus Linares of PelotaBrava.com.
Dusty Baker cites return to 5-man rotation as reason why he pulled Justin Verlander from no-hitter
The Astros utilized a six-man rotation for the majority of the season, and it worked out tremendously for them. In fact, the team had as many as seven starters after Lance McCullers Jr. made his return from Tommy John surgery. The number stayed at six when the Astros traded Jake Odorizzi to the Atlanta Braves at the deadline.
Now, it remains to be seen who will be removed from the rotation to bring the number of starters down to five. One thing we can confidently say is that it won’t be Verlander.
After his latest 10-strikeout outing against the Twins, Verlander has now recorded a 1.87 ERA, a 0.85 WHIP, a 16-3 record, 148 strikeouts and 25 walks over 149.0 innings (23 starts).
For those Astros fans puzzled as to why Baker decided to pull his ace in the midst of a no-hitter, it is due to the team’s desire to return to a five-man starting rotation.