By: Terry Foster
It is time to talk about the white elephant in the room.
Tigers ace Justin Verlander is not having a good season. It has been a season of hit or miss. Another miss played out Thursday night when JV got lit up by the Texas Rangers for eight earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings during the Tigers 10-4 loss. It is not time to panic but there is reason to be concerned. His walks are up. His confidence appears to be down. There is something just not right about Verlander this season. Then again there are times where he appears to be the most dominant pitcher in the game. Three outings ago he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning with Houston. But does that really count? It came against Houston which is barely a Major League team.
In the two games since Verlander has given up 11 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings and walked seven batters and struck out just 10. Verlander is a guy that always carries around a WHIP of 1.00 or below. In the last two games his WHIP has been 2.5. That is not good. That is not what you expect from the highest paid pitcher in baseball.
He is overrated some people want to scream. That simply is not true. He earned the American League CY Young and Most Valuable Player two seasons ago. He remained one of the best in baseball last season. Currently, he isn’t even the best pitcher on the Tigers staff.
Although there appears to be some shame in his game I hesitate to push the panic button because the guy is so talented.
My question for you is simple. If you had a must-win game would you pitch JV?
(My email address is Terry.Foster@cbsradio.com. Follow me on twitter @TerryFoster971. I also have a book signing for 100 Things Tiger Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die Saturday (noon- 2pm) at the Tilted Kilt in Novi.)