Despite an 8-5 record, a 3.77 ERA and 114 strikeouts, Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander has been outshined by fellow staff member Max Scherzer, who recently became the first starter since Roger Clemens 27 years ago to start a season 12-0.
Having his teammate grab all the headlines must’ve made the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner mad, because he is currently trending upward and getting his name back in the conversation of the best pitchers in MLB.
To be honest, he never should’ve been left out of the conversation.
Although the 30-year-old struggled to find consistency early in the season for the first time in what seems like forever, he has been doing one thing consistently since late May: going deep into games.
Sure, he technically hasn’t won a game since the first week of June, but he has seemed like his old self, tossing at least seven innings in five of his last seven starts and giving up three runs or less in those five game. And since he held a 4-4 record on May 16, he has lost just once while winning four straight starts from May 22-June 7.
Scherzer may be gaining notoriety by the start, but Verlander seems to have figured out what was ailing the five-time All-Star — likely soon to be a six-timer.
“Nobody can put more pressure on me than I do,” Verlander told ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike” on Monday. “I expect to be great every time I go out there, and if I’m not, I’m going to fix it and I’m going to find out what’s wrong.”
He seems to have found out what was wrong, and if he truly has, there will be a lot of wrongs with any lineup that is forced to face perhaps the best no. 1 and 2 starters in baseball.