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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 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,’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.”

Video reviews overturn 42% rate; Boston most successful

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NEW YORK (AP) Video reviews overturned 42.4% of calls checked during Major League Baseball’s shortened regular season, down slightly from 44% in 2019.

Boston was the most successful team, gaining overturned calls on 10 of 13 challenges for 76.9%. The Chicago White Sox were second, successful on eight of 11 challenges for 72.7%, followed by Kansas City at seven of 10 (70%).

Pittsburgh was the least successful at 2 of 11 (18.2%), and Toronto was 7 of 25 (28%).

Minnesota had the most challenges with 28 and was successful on nine (32.1%). The New York Yankees and Milwaukee tied for the fewest with nine each; the Yankees were successful on five (55.6%) and the Brewers three (33.3%).

MLB said Tuesday there were 468 manager challenges and 58 crew chief reviews among 526 total reviews during 898 games. The average time of a review was 1 minute, 25 seconds, up from 1:16 the previous season, when there 1,186 manager challenges and 170 crew chief reviews among 1,356 reviews during 2,429 games.

This year’s replays had 104 calls confirmed (19.8%), 181 that stood (34.4%) and 223 overturned. An additional 12 calls (2.3%) were for rules checks and six (1.1%) for recording keeping.

In 2019 there were 277 calls confirmed (12.5%), 463 that stood (34.1%) and 597 overturned. An additional nine calls (0.7%) were for rules checks and 10 (0.7%) for record keeping.

Expanded video review started in 2014.