I told the story during the broadcast today about riding the press elevator with a member of the Oakland media and he asked me what was wrong with Justin Verlander this year.  I was confused when I asked him what he meant.

"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.

 


Comments

W A German
05/17/2012 17:19

Hi MARIO AND ROD:

I am 78 years old and have been a Tiger Fan most of those years. (68)
I have listened or watched on TV or gone to games since then.

Now my question is "What is the fascination with the "pitch count".

I hate it!! Can you imagine pulling that BS on Don Drysdale, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Carl Hubbell, Sandy Kofax, Bob Lemon, Nolan Ryan, Cy Young and the list goes on and on and on??

Our starting pitchers have lost, or not gotten credit for, many games
when they are yanked out in the 7th inning (and are still pitching well) and the relievers don't do their job and lose or let the game be tied and then the reliever ends up winning.
I would be insulted if, when I worked, someone had to come and finish my job for me.

So I'm sorry to have to do this but when the Tigers are on I just put
the sound on mute and call my own game and I don't have to listen to the damn pitch count over and over and over again.

What happened to complete games?? Why does there have to be a starter, a middle man, and a closer??

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