Justin Verlander still remembers Erick Aybar’s bunt five years ago
Erick Aybar is now a teammate of Justin Verlander’s, as the Tigers acquired the infielder from the Braves on Tuesday night in exchange for Mike Aviles and a minor league catcher.
That’s notable because, five years ago when he was with the Angels, Erick Aybar disrupted Verlander’s attempt to complete his third career no-hitter by dropping down a bunt in the eighth inning. Verlander fielded the ball cleanly, but made a wild throw to first base, allowing Aybar to move to second base. The right-hander was charged with an error, but would allow an RBI single to Maicer Izturis later in the inning to break up the no-hitter. The Tigers would hold on to win 3-2 and Verlander got the win that afternoon.
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Verlander wasn’t happy about Aybar’s bunt, calling it “bush league,” as Chris Iott of Mlive.com reported at the time. In baseball’s “unwritten rules,” many feel that it’s disrespectful for a hitter to bunt for a hit when a pitcher is working on a no-hitter.
Verlander still remembers that bunt, MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports. The veteran starter said, “I haven’t hit him like I said I would, so at least that’s a good thing when he gets to the clubhouse.”
ESPN’s Katie Strang quoted Verlander as calling Aybar’s bunt “water under the bridge.” He said, “Everything changes when a guy becomes your teammate.”