Jul 2, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) warms up before the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander negotiates season of ‘peaks and valleys’ – Joe Lapointe, MLive
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Counting his two-game debut in 2005, this is the 10th season Verlander has worn the “D” shirt. Those years include not only the All-Star games but plenty of post-season appearances, including two losing trips to the World Series. He is 31 years old. Wednesday, he mixed sliders with curves and changeups, fooling some Oakland batters with speeds in the 70s and 80s. Manager Brad Ausmus noted that Verlander’s speed increased in the sixth, when he threw a few pitches in the mid-90s. “He has the knack of being able to ratchet up his velocity when the game is on the line,” Ausmus said.
It’s shocking to see the number of fans turn on Justin Verlander. He’s given the team, fans, and city six seasons of greatness and a couple of subpar to average years, yet many are easy to turn on him–likely because of the large contract. He may still be trying to find his groove after off-season surgery, but I’m willing to give him several benefits of the doubt.
Wednesday, the Tigers played a day game and swept the Oakland A’s at Comerica Park. Later that evening, Torii Hunter took to instagram and posted a couple of photos of the team having a barbecue together at somebody’s house. It appears to be Anibal Sanchez who hosted the gathering, based on Torii’s hashtag “ThanksAnabal,” who is also at the center of the photo. And yes, I know, he spelled “Anibal” wrong, but that’s not the point. Here were Torii’s other hashtags: #hangingoutwithmybrothas, #foodwasawesome, #goodtimes, #teamtigers. He then went on to post another instagram photo, which was the same one, except a wider image that displayed Justin Verlander and JD Martinez with the caption “There’s JD!”
In the second picture, you’ll notice Miguel Cabrera‘s son looking toward Justin Verlander. Could he be wondering where Kate Upton was?
Midseason report: Tigers attendance, TV ratings down from 2013 – Bill Shea, Crain’s Business Detroit
Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Attendance is down more than 2,200 per game. The team is averaging a 7.53 average household rating after 72 game broadcasts through Wednesday, versus a 9.02 average household rating at the same point in 2013, FSD’s data shows.
Shea acknowledges that even though the TV ratings have taken a slight dip, the rating will still be the highest local rating of any team in baseball again. The attendance can be partly understood because the Tigers had a ton of April games where the weather was terrible.