"His numbers aren't as good this year," he said.
I thought it was a strange statement considering Verlander entered the game with a 3-1 record and a 2.63 ERA in his first seven starts. Has Verlander's status in the game risen to such heights that a 2.63 ERA stinks? Apparently. That's the price you pay when you dominate the league and win a Cy Young and MVP Award is the same season.
Nothing Verlander does these days surprises me. He had no-hit stuff on Sunday in Oakland and seemed to be toying with a depleted A's lineup. Only a callus on his pitching thumb could derail him and Verlander came out after 7 innings. Today's effort ran Verlander's streak of pitching at least six innings to 50 straight starts. That's the longest such streak by a Tiger since 1918. You know, when Woodrow Wilson was president. Let that marinade for a while.
For as dominant as JV has been, April has typically been a slow month. His career ERA in April is 4.37. This season though, Verlander came out of the gate much better, posting a 2.41 mark in the first month.
And if you feel the Verlander has benefited from pitching in a large ballpark like Comerica, we've got that covered too. Sunday's win over the A's gives him victories in his last 13 straight decisions on the road.
Verlander has a reputation as an extremely hard worker who wants to make sure his game stays on top. His results make that evident. A true ace finds a way to get it done when his team needs him the most. Since the start of 2011, the righty is 18-3 following a Tigers defeat. After beating the Tigers on Saturday, the A's found out they never had a chance on Sunday.