With a big assist from his shortstop, Verlander pitched the first no-hitter in Comerica Park history, leading the Detroit Tigers over the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 Tuesday night.
"It was the best thing that ever happened to me," he said.
The 2006 AL Rookie of the Year came back with the game of his career, striking out 12. He benefited from several stellar defensive plays, the best by Neifi Perez, who turned a possible single up the middle in the eighth into an inning-ending double play.
"About the fifth or sixth you can't help but think about it a little," Verlander said. "Everyone kept giving me high-fives and nobody came and sat next to me."
The NL Central-leading Brewers didn't have a chance against him.
"We only hit four or five balls hard all night ... that's how dominant he was," said Craig Counsell, twice called out on strikes.
Verlander (7-2) worked around four walks in the Tigers' first no-hitter since Jack Morris in 1984.
The 24-year-old trotted to the mound for the ninth to a standing ovation from the crowd of 33,555.
"I had way too much adrenaline, to be honest," Verlander said.
"I said, 'Let's get it back down,"' he said.
Verlander then got Hardy to lift a high fly ball that right fielder Magglio Ordonez caught at the edge of the warning track.
Verlander didn't even see the ball settle into Ordonez's glove.
"I wanted to watch the catch, but Pudge was yelling in my ear," he said.
Catcher Ivan Rodriguez was already at the mound and hugged Verlander as the pitcher wheeled around.
"I think I was more excited than he was," Rodriguez said.
This was the first no-hitter in Detroit since Nolan Ryan of the Angels did it at Tiger Stadium in 1973. Comerica opened in 2000.