Two years ago Justin Verlander broke through a barrier many people didn’t think would be broken through again by winning the MVP as a pitcher. Who could have guessed in less than two years time that Verlander would go from the top of sports to maybe the bottom of his own rotation. Now saying Verlander is at the bottom of the Detroit Tigers rotation is like saying a piece of pizza is the worst slice of pizza; it’s still pizza, but in a rotation so strong it is Verlander’s starts that have now become the biggest question marks and most puzzling.
Is it velocity? Is it a physical problem? Mental problem? The most frustrating part about Verlander’s struggles is that no one can really identify what the problem is. Every few weeks a story comes out that Verlander is ready to start pitching like the MVP he is, and then he goes out and gives a performance like the one he did today against the Minnesota Twins getting shelled. How could a pitcher fall so fast with seemingly no injuries? Kate Upton isn’t around to blame anymore, so something much more serious is causing this collapse.
Just as soon as you start to panic about Verlander he delivers a great performance, and when you think he is back he has a start like today. It’s a roller coaster of emotions that doesn’t make any sense as a fan, and I’m sure it doesn’t make sense to Verlander or anyone in the dugout. You would think by late August a pitcher wouldn’t still be trying to find themselves or trying to find changes in their pitching mechanics, but here we are. The Tigers need the old Justin Verlander if they want to reach the heights they have wanted since the season started. It’s time for Justin Verlander to be Justin Verlander.