Justin Verlander thinks he could do it.
Despite his 0-for-20 career batting line, the Tigers ace is convinced he could hit a home run off Bronson Arroyo during Saturday's Interleague start at Great American Ball Park.
Verlander, who has 13 strikeouts to go with his .000 average, has been taking batting practice the last couple of weeks to prepare for his start in Cincinnati -- and yes, he actually did go yard during BP at Fenway Park. Yet the last time Verlander cleared the fence in an organized game was during his high school days at Virginia's Goochland High School.
“As a starting pitcher in the American League, we kind of mark this day on our calendars,” Verlander said. “Taking batting practice the weeks before breaks up the monotony of our usual pregame ritual. Getting the chance to show off at the plate is something we all look forward to.”
GABP is known as one of the most homer-friendly park in all of baseball. The Reds and Rockies recently combined for nine long balls in a game, and the yard's 2.89 homers per contest is the highest average in the league.
“If I did get a hold of one, I’d probably get a sort of slow jog around the basepaths, nothing too fast or too slow,” Verlander said. “There’s no way I wouldn’t be laughing or smiling about what happened though.”
-- Will Frasure