At the moment, the hottest pitcher in baseball is Detroit's Justin Verlander, who is 7-0 with a 1.10 ERA since April 27.

During the Tigers' 2-1 win over the White Sox Wednesday, Verlander's fastball averaged 96.4 m.p.h., according to Hank Gargiulo of ESPN Stats and Information. His fastball reached 100.4 m.p.h. during an at-bat by Jermaine Dye, who fouled it off.

"I've never seen him pitch with this kind of focus," an AL scout commented to Buster Olney of ESPN The Magazine. "He is attacking hitters right from the get-go. He just has a different look in his eyes."

Verlander ended the game by whiffing Josh Fields with a fastball clocked at 99.6 m.p.h.

Oust Wang?

How much longer will the Yankees continue to send Chien-Ming Wang to the mound? After the Red Sox chased the righthander in the third inning of their 6-5 win the other night, a New York Post columnist said it's already been too long. And in true tabloid style, the columnist made his argument rather forcefully.

"They simply cannot let Wang continue to start," Joel Sherman wrote. "It has become like a once every fifth day concession speech."

Wang is 0-4 and has lasted 141/3 innings in his five starts.

"He is a one-man bullpen wrecking crew," Sherman wrote.

Sherman suggested the Yanks come up with a fake injury to put Wang on the disabled list. "How about a sprained right eyebrow? Or contusion of the left pinkie nail? Or how about hyperextended ERA?" he wrote.


Asaad Ali, the adopted son of Muhammad Ali, was drafted by the Angels in the 40th round. Asaad, 18, is a 5-10, 224-pound catcher from Niles (Mich.) High School. He was adopted by the former champ and his wife, Lonnie, in 1992. . . . According to toxicology reports, alcohol was found in the system of the young woman who was driving Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart before they were both killed in a collision on April 9. But the coroner's office could not determine how much alcohol 20-year-old Courtney Stewart consumed, so no conclusions could be drawn. Police said the driver of the other vehicle, Andrew Gallo, had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit. He is being prosecuted for three counts of murder. . . . White Sox slugger Carlos Quentin began jogging earlier this week, but manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't expect his return before the all-star break. Quentin is sidelined with plantar fasciitis.