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Justin Verlander explains why his pitching was so dominant against the Yankees in Game 2 of the ALCS and what his reaction was to Carlos Correa’s walk-off RBI double.

Justin Verlander‘s 122nd pitch on Saturday was a 97 mph fastball that Greg Bird fouled off. The next pitch was another 97 mph fastball, up and in. His final pitch was a slider that Bird pounded into the ground for the Yankees’ final out. After the Astros then scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, Verlander had thrown the first nine-inning complete game in a league championship series since the White Sox remarkably threw four in a row in 2005. That almost feels like a different era of baseball.

Verlander was viewed as a conquering hero, like he had washed up on the shores of Normandy to deliver starting pitchers from the tyranny of bullpens. The last pitcher to throw more pitches in a playoff game was Verlander himself, back in the 2012 American League Championship Series, when he threw 132 in 8⅓ innings. The last pitcher to throw more in a complete game was Mark Prior, way back in the 2003 division series for the Cubs, when he threw 133 in a 3-1 victory over the Braves.

Verlander’s turn-back-the-clock performance, however, has been the exception. He’s the only starter to pitch into the eighth inning, let alone go all nine. Only eight starters out of 42 starts have reached 100 pitches. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that managers are relying more than ever on their bullpens in postseason play. They don’t want to lose a game in the middle innings with a starter facing a lineup for the third time or as he starts approaching 90 pitches. Check out the percentage of innings thrown by starters in the postseason over the years, along with ERAs of starters and relievers and the percentage of seven-inning starts: