Opening Day is a special day in Detroit. Okay, well it’s a special day about everywhere in the country — for baseball fans — but it’s especially important in the city of Detroit. In recent years, the Detroit Tigers have been fixtures atop the American League Central, looking to win their first World Series since 1984. Opening Day is the first test and it sets the bar for the rest of the season.
Justin Verlander, 31, has been an Opening Day staple for the Tigers, starting the last seven Opening Day games for the team. It seems like if he does well in a season, the Tigers experience mass amounts of success.
Verlander took the mound for Detroit’s Opening Day against the Kansas City Royals and the veteran ace proved that he will be back and better than ever after undergoing core muscle repair surgery during the offseason.
Many believed that Verlander’s injury would mark the start of the end of his career. The 10-year veteran was coming off an average season, under his standards, in 2013, accounting for a 13-12 record and a 3.46 ERA.
Yes, many people had already written Verlander off even before spring training began. What did he do to respond to the doubters? Not much, just pitched 20 scoreless innings in spring training, striking out 17 and allowing just eight hits for a 2-0 record in four starts.
If that wasn’t enough to prove the surgery was just a minor speed bump in the ace’s otherwise illustrious career, he started his seventh consecutive Opening Day for the Tigers, allowing just two runs in six innings while striking out two on his way to a no-decision.
Sure, his first regular season start since the injury wasn’t stellar, but it’s a start.
It looks like he is out to prove his doubters wrong this year, and if you know anything about the veteran pitcher, an angry Verlander is a very scary thing.
Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.