By: Matt Dery
Baseball is a great game. It really is. One night, your team looks like a world-beater. The next? They take one on the chin and appear to be pretenders. Here in Detroit we have a guy that is one of the best pitchers in the game in Justin Verlander. Cy Young winner and MVP and even in a season that many feel isn’t even a “great year” for him, Justin started the All Star Game for the American League.
Last night Justin had an off night. He didn’t pitch well at all and on a night where his teammates finally gave him some run support, he had nothing. Verlander allowed 8 earned runs for the first time since 2009 and the Tigers fell to the Royals 9-8. There were others to blame on this night, but certainly Verlander shoulders a lot of the finger-pointing after this one. But some fans just do not get it.
Justin had an off night. IT HAPPENS! If you were on twitter during the game (@derynba), you read comments such as “This guy is not an ace” or “What is wrong with Verlander”. What is wrong with him?
Really? How about nothing.
Everybody has a bad night. Every “Ace” goes through this. Five days ago, nobody asked “What is wrong?” when Justin went nine innings allowing just two earned runs against Toronto did they? His ERA is 2.80. His WHIP is 1.04. Only Felix Hernandez and David Price have lower ERA’s than Justin in the AL. Two nights ago Price allowed 6 earned runs against Texas in 4 innings. So what is wrong with him? I think it is ridiculous to think that every single time out that Justin has to throw a gem. That is baseball. Bad nights are going to happen. Some fans need to chill. Justin Verlander is the least of their worries in my opinion. He IS an ace and he IS allowed to stub his toe once and a while. If the Tigs get to the playoffs again this year and Verlander’s postseason ERA does not come down from 5.57, then I think it is okay to question him. Just a thought on a guy that every team in baseball would want on their squad.