16 – 3: One of the main reasons why Justin Verlander became the first pitcher to win the most valuable player award in nearly 20 years. With the ability to effect only one in every five games, a starting pitcher has a serious disadvantage in the MVP running alongside players that go out 162 games a season, but Verlander’s 16-3 record following a Tigers loss is an example of how you make the most out of every outing.
And right now it’s looking like the Tigers are going to need that type of bounce-back power from Verlander just as much this season, if not more.
The Tigers are 3-1 in Verlander starts so far this year, and 7-8 without him. In tonight’s start against the Yankees, Verlander will try and put an end to a rough past week of baseball for Detroit, in which they’ve dropped 6 of their last 7 – of course the sole win coming in the game Verlander pitched. Losing 3 out of 4 to the Rangers isn’t the worst thing in the world since it seems like nobody can stop the Texas offense right now and the last game in the series really could have gone either way after a controversial bunt call in the tenth inning gave the Rangers the victory.
But the recent 3-game stinker against the Mariners is a completely different story.
Outscored 21-9 in the series, the Tigers struggled in the field, on the mound, and most surprisingly, at the plate. During the 9-1 loss Wednesday night, Comerica Park felt more like the stadium of a frustrating underachiever than a loveable hardworking team. The boos came out when short-stop Jhonny Peralta fumbled a routine groundball that could have saved the Tigers a couple runs and then a flurry of boo birds chased rookie starter Adam Wilk out of the game after allowing 8 hits in 2+ innings (charged with 6 earned runs).