Justin Verlander pitched another tremendous game Thursday afternoon, going the distance in a 2-1 loss to the streaking — did someone say streaking? — Cleveland Indians. He allowed six hits, two runs, one of which came on an absolute bomb off the bat of Shin-Soo Choo, and struck out seven while walking one. Sadly, all the Tigers could come up with for their ace was an RBI groundout from Miggy Cabrera. After the game, Verlander vented a little understandable frustration:
“You can only say it’s early for so long. We’ve got to get it turned around. It’s disappointing the way we’ve been playing. Obviously, we all expected better.’”
To be fair, in baseball you can say it’s early for quite some time. Here’s Verlander on throwing a 102 mph fastball on his 116th pitch:
”I wasn’t trying to send a message. I was trying to light a spark. I thought if I could dominate an inning and get our guys back in quick, maybe something would happen.”
How can you not love this guy? And he can really say he wants, hell, Verlander can turn into Dennis Rodman if he wants to considering the guy has pitched at least six innings in 52 straight starts. Ridiculous. That’s the longest streak in the majors since Steve Carlton did so for 69 consecutive starts from Sept. 13, 1979 to April 13, 1982.
The loss marked the Tigers’ sixth over their last eight, and the sweep at the hands of the Indians included 30 stranded runners and a sizzling 3-for-28 with runners in scoring position. Sounds like a party.