My concern is that it's not generally a good idea to allow young pitchers to rack up high pitch counts, in this case 121 pitches. Now, there is no magic number which can be used as a pitch limit but 121 pitches is "in the danger zone" according to various sabermetric studies of young pitchers. In a Jasn Beck article this spring, Jim Leyland said that he does not believe in pitch counts but he also wants to keep his pitchers healthy:
"Am I going to abuse pitchers? No, I take pride in taking care of my pitchers," he said. "I'm a firm believer that it's not the best pitching staff that wins. In a lot of cases, it's the healthiest."
Leyland wants to know how tough a pitcher's innings or pitchers are. If a young hurler throws 100 pitches, Leyland won't automatically lift him, especially if they were easy pitches.
Verlander did not seem to be laboring out there so the decision to leave him in there goes along with Leyland's philosophy. However, Leyland's resume includes heavy use of young pitchers such as Livan Hernandez, Kevin Brown and Pedro Astacio. I'm not sure how much damage he did, if any, to his young pitchers but I prefer he not play with fire. I don't want to see Verlander throwing 121 pitches on a regular basis. This is something to watch closely as the year goes along.