Verlander has not won since June 7. But he still had a decent outing with a season-high eight innings, allowing three runs on nine hits, walking four and striking out four. The satisfying thing for the Tigers is that it’s the first time in his last three starts that he has pitched more than five innings.
Verlander has not had a typical season so far. He’s in a rut, but all pitchers hit such a skid every now and then. He’s not getting shelled — he’s simply giving up more than he has in the past.
It is true the Verlander is not in command of his pitches as he usually is, but he showed Saturday night he’s not far from it and it’s just a matter of regaining the touch. The way he has pitched in his last 10 outings is not acceptable, that’s for sure. He is 4-3 with three no-decisions and an ERA of 5.52. In 58.2 innings of work, he has allowed seventy hits and 26 walks. That’s more than a hit per inning, which is also not Verlander standards.
Verlander still has several starts to get back in the groove. He’s been there before, but it’s usually early in the season. July is usually Verlander’s best month. That’s what the Tigers are counting on again. They will obviously need him down the stretch.