Verlander combats Rangers' aggressiveness

Verlander combats Rangers' aggressiveness

Verlander combats Rangers' aggressiveness
DETROIT -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton said Justin Verlander seemed to throw more sliders and changeups against them in Saturday night's 3-2 loss to the Tigers in Game 2 of a doubleheader. His perception was correct.

Verlander said after the game that was design.

"These guys are susceptible to fastballs," Verlander said. "But just the way their confidence is and the way that they're swinging it lately -- they're just going up there and being extremely, extremely aggressive, not only at the plate, but on the basepaths and everything that they're doing. It's probably the most aggressive I've ever seen a team.

"I had three walks I'm not happy with, but that's probably because I threw so much offspeed. But you know, let their aggressiveness play into my hands. If they want to swing at the first pitch every time, go ahead. Here's a slider, here's a changeup, swing at it."

Verlander, who allowed one run over six innings, said the Rangers are playing with extreme confidence and aggressiveness right now.

"I'm not mad at them by any means, but having the chance to watch them for a couple, it's not that hard to see," Verlander said. "It's pretty blatant how aggressive they are as a team right now, and they're not always like that. But they're feeling good about themselves right now, and they want to get up there and they want to kill the ball.

"We talked about how much they've been charging fastballs, yet they're still able to foul off a lot of offspeed. That just shows you how locked in their entire lineup is right now."