Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Justin Verlander will bounce back, Tigers great Jack Morris says – Josh Katzenstein, Detroit News
“He’s got to remember who he is,” Morris said Sunday night after the All-Star Legends and Celebrity softball game. “He’s the best in the game, and he’s got to go out there and start showing that.”
At 31, the former American League MVP and Cy Young winner could be entering his career decline, but Morris thinks Verlander can return to form. Morris pitched until he was 39, though his strikeout rate started to decline after his age 31 season.
“He can do it,” Morris said. “He’s human. We’ve got to understand that you play this game long enough, it’ll show you that you’re human, and I think Justin will come back out on top.”
Verlander is a former Cy Young winner and MVP and he didn’t get to those heights without a ridiculously strong competitive edge. Justin Verlander is far too proud to let this be the end of his story. So, yeah, I agree with Morris. He’ll be back, maybe not the same as 2011 JV, but better than he’s been playing.
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Max Scherzer‘s curveball isn’t what it used to be, and that’s a good thing.
Now in the second year of a three-year project, Scherzer’s curveball is evolving into a complete pitch. He’s still not there with it yet, but it’s a pitch Scherzer is throwing with more conviction.
“It’s really fine-tuning my curveball and getting more consistent with that pitch,” Scherzer said. “You can have it, but to really get a pitch it takes three years to learn it and get consistent with it.”
The mindset is there now, but that wasn’t always the case. It took dedication and countless hours of practice for Scherzer to begin to trust his curveball. Typically, a pitcher doesn’t just pick up another pitch and take it into the next game.
Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander are peas from the same pod, both are highly competitive, intelligent athletes who are incapable of settling. After his own Cy Young season, Scherzer is still not resting on his laurels, he’s working to improve himself and sure, a lot of it is for his own contract at the end of the season, it’s admirable and inspiring that even at the top of his game, he’s still working to be better.
Midseason review: Toledo Mud Hens– Rob Rogacki, Bless You Boys
The Mud Hens are once again in last place in their division, but have been much more competitive than their 2013 counterparts. They went 61-83 last year and finished a distant 19 games out of first place. This season, they sit just 5 1/2 games out of first place at the All-Star Break. Both their offense and defense have been in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league, except for a league-worst strikeout rate from the pitching staff. The Hens have scored nine more runs than they have allowed, and are within striking distance of their first winning record since 2009.