At 8:25 p.m. PST, with the Tigers up 3-0 and Felix looking shaky, Justin Verlander was unhittable. Perfect through the first four frames, he was slinging it at about 97 miles per hour, right on the corners, then dumping in sick breaking balls or changeups, totally baffling the Mariner lineup.
And then I jinxed him.
A reverse curse, voodoo as old as you can do, at least when it comes to sporting events. Within minutes, an inexplicable and precipitous collapse: Beltre doubled, Branyan singled, Lopez singled, Johnson sacrificed, Yuni reached on an error, Gutierrez bunt singled, Ichiro singled, Verlander hurled a wild pitch, and when the dust had settled, the Mariners had a 5-3 lead. Griffey would later score from first (!) on a Beltre double, dancing around a tag, and the M's bullpen would hold the Tigers in place.
Said Bill Krueger of the postgame show, "Something happened to him between the 4th and 5th inning, I'm not sure what."