Just about the time everyone had finally bought into the idea that Justin Verlander, despite offering a fastball that still registered as high as 98 mph, really was done as a viable mixed-league option after two-plus seasons of mediocre results, the former AL MVP delivered the strongest indication yet that, no, he actually isn't. The turnaround was sudden and never relented over his final 14 starts, resulting in a 2.27 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings. His bumpy stretch to begin the year? That lasted only six starts. He did miss the first couple months with a strained triceps, so maybe he just needed a few starts to regain his form. It's just that, for him, nobody knew what that meant anymore. Investing heavily in him again is risky, of course, but the drop-off after the top 30 starting pitchers makes it worthwhile at that point.
Tigers starter Justin Verlander went six innings Saturday, allowing two earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out nine in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox. Verlander took a no-decision in his final outing of 2015, wrapping his season up with four consecutive quality starts. The former Cy Young winner put up solid numbers in his abbreviated season, improving his K/9 to 7.63 from 6.95 in 2014.
Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander won his fifth game of the season Monday against the Rangers, allowing just one run with five strikeouts and one walk in six innings. Aside from a solo homer and a double by Prince Fielder, Verlander limited the streaky Rangers offense to singles. The veteran has been excellent since the start of August, with a 2.53 ERA in 10 starts, and he is starting to resemble the ace he was a couple of years ago. Verlander's final start of the season will come Sunday against the White Sox.
Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander allowed two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out seven over 8.2 innings, but came away with a no-decision against the Royals on Friday night. Verlander was spectacular, carrying a 3-1 lead into the ninth inning. Unfortunately, the bullpen gave the lead away and the Tigers wouldn't close it out until the 12th inning. He's had his ups and downs this year, but his second half performance suggests he is getting more comfortable pitching as more of a finesse pitcher after years of being a top power arm. Many really good ones make the adjustment.
The Indians must wait another day to make an attempt to reach .500 for the first time since they were 2-2. Their game against visiting Detroit was rained out Saturday for the second straight night. A makeup date has yet to be determined. The teams will play a doubleheader Sunday with Indians right-hander Cody Anderson facing hot Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Game 1 and Cleveland starting Trevor Bauer against veteran Randy Wolf in the nightcap.
The game between the Tigers and Indians was postponed on Friday due to rain. The game will be made up as a doubleheader on Sunday. Both teams have set their rotations for the rest of the weekend. Justin Verlander, who was originally scheduled to pitch Friday, will pitch for the Tigers on Saturday. Matt Boyd and Randy Wolf will start the two games of the twinbill on Sunday. The Indians will have Cody Anderson on Saturday, with Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco following suit on Sunday.