Today Justin Verlander's most meaningful start so far this season - this is why
His April wasn't great, but not the complete disaster of past years. Despite a stellar record, he wasn't getting respect as one of baseball's top pitchers because his ERA was relatively high.
This season, his ERA is down.
Verlander has been a threat to throw a no-hitter in multiple starts - and did accomplish the feat for the second time in his career at Toronto.
There were screams from Detroit fans that he wasn't a true ace. But how can that be when seven of his 10 wins have come following Tigers' losses this season - and an eighth broke a tie for first place in the American League Central with Cleveland - and was against the Indians?
Today, however, facing the New York Mets at Comerica Park, will be Verlander's most meaningful start of the season.
The Tigers' pitching has been hammered for 30 runs in the first two games of the series by the Mets. It got so bad Wednesday night, utility man Donald Kelly had to take the mound to get the final out.
Compounding the issue: Verlander was pounded by the Mets in two innings of work in a 14-6 Tigers' loss at New York last season. It';s the only time he has faced the Mets in his career.
Oh, and American League Central rivals Cleveland, Chicago and Minnesota all won Wednesday.
The Tigers need Verlander more than ever today. We'll see if he delivers.
It's the type of outing that could determine - one way or another - how much support for the Cy Young Award he ultimately receives.
Labels: Justin Verlander