Throughout his time with the Detroit Tigers, ace pitcher Justin Verlander has had difficulty getting wins at Yankee Stadium. But not tonight.
The last time that JV earned a win at Yankee Stadium was in 2007. But, that was at the old Yankee Stadium.
Other than the fluky events in the third inning, Justin Verlander was outstanding on the mound. And, to make the game even better, he had plenty of run support from all over the lineup.
In Verlander’s decade of pitching, he has pitched eight times at the new stadium in the Bronx. It took the ninth time to earn a real win. Of the eight team-losses, Verlander was credited with four of them, the other four were no-decisions.
What does this win mean for the pitcher who has been decorated with nearly every award known to the MLB pitching world? It is certainly a good thing for the Detroit Tigers, especially since they no longer have to worry about putting Verlander on the mound when facing the Yankees in New York. It should also put to rest any continuing doubts about the veteran pitcher.
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In tonight’s game against the Yankees, Verlander earned five strikeouts. Remember that JV pitched 10 strikeouts in back-to-back games against Minnesota on May 18 and Philadelphia on May 24. He has only pitched in two games with fewer strikeouts than tonight’s game; those two games were on Opening Day against Miami and on May 3rd against Cleveland. He only struck out two batters in each of those games. In the game against Cleveland on May 3, he gave up 7 runs.
With this win against the Yankees, his ERA since May 8 – the magic “turnaround game” – is now a highly respectable 1.97. Unfortunately, that will not be his ERA on his season stats because of his rough April starts. His season-long ERA dropped to 3.77 which is significantly better than his 6.49 at the beginning of May.
In the American League, JV is currently sitting in fifth place in total strikeouts. He has one less strikeout than Chris Sale. In the last 30 days, JV is in second place in total strikeouts.
If JV continues to pitch like he has been, and all signs are pointing this way, he could end up atop several statistical charts by the time the season is complete. While he is not leading the AL in any stats, his low WHIP of 1.071 puts him in the fifth spot in that category, too. He in 10th place in innings pitched – which is outstanding for a pitcher with as many years as he has in the league.
Even with a relatively low number of strikeouts, Justin Verlander continues to be a pitcher to watch. His turnaround in early May and his continued success on the mound only helps the team keep up their recent winning ways. As Verlander goes, so go the Tigers.