ARLINGTON, Texas — Justin Verlander had the worst inning of his career last night in Texas.
Verlander got rocked for seven runs in a third inning that saw the Tigers ace get just two outs before getting the hook. Verlander walked in two runs before giving up a two-run double and a three-run home run to end his night early. It was the fourth shortest outing of Verlander’s career and saw his ERA go from 1.93 to 3.17.
Verlander wasn’t very good in his prior start either, giving up four runs (three earned runs) on six hits in a loss to the Cleveland Indians. Along with the two rough starts, Verlander’s velocity has been noticeably down all season long.
So is it time for Tigers fans to get nervous about Verlander? No.
Let’s start with the velocity. While it has been down for most of the season, Verlander’s fastball was hitting the high-90’s often last night and his average fastball velocity was in the same range as it had been the previous two seasons.
But what about his last two starts? Yeah, the start last night was bad and the one before wasn’t awful by any means except the standard we’ve come to expect from Justin Verlander. But, his previous seven starts before that just happened to be the best seven starts to open a season in Verlander’s career.
Through his first seven starts this season, Verlander had a 1.55 ERA, a 3.85 K/BB ratio and a 1.101 WHIP (walks + hits/innings pitched). To put that in perspective, Verlander last year had a 2.64 ERA, 3.98 K/BB ratio and a 1.057 WHIP. So for the first seven starts of this season, Verlander was just as good if not better than last year.
Stay calm and carry on Tigers fans.