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Verlander rubs Tigers trainer’s head for luck after being pulled in the 9th (vid)

Following a relatively dominating performance on Tuesday night that saw the Detroit Tigers ace uncharacteristically without his best stuff — not that it mattered (8.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) — Justin Verlander found himself seated in the dugout during a tense bottom of the 9th inning after doing all he could do on the mound to put the Tigers in position to go up three games to none in his start against the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS.

But being the team player that he is, Verlander couldn’t help but try to contribute a little bit more to his already impressive effort, only on this occasion, with Detroit hanging on to a 2-1 lead, he had no other option but to try to impart some good luck on fellow Tigers pitcher Phil Coke by way of rubbing the head of Tigers trainer standing beside him.

The superstitious ploy appeared to work, as Coke secured the save and now the Tigers have a stranglehold on the series, with the only hope for the Yankees being a monumental comeback from three games down. Not seeing that happening.

TBS announcer Ernie Johnson wryly joked that the trainer “actually had hair before Verlander started doing that.” Now, the poor guy looks like a cue ball. Probably worth the trade-off, if it were true.

Let’s just hope that Verlander’s supposed gal-pal Kate Upton didn’t take offense to her alleged boyfriend’s vigorous head-rubbing of another man. I doubt it.

[H/T Holdout Sports]

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