Justin Verlander. Detroit Tigers v. New York Mets. Joker Marchant Stadium. Lakeland, Florida. March 12, 2012.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander took the mound for the final time in the first half of the 2017 regular season. It also could have been perhaps his final start ever with the only club he’s ever known.
With all the trade rumors swirling around Verlander and the team rapidly falling down in the standings, Detroit will be looking to sell some of its assets in the coming days and weeks.
Verlander’s start on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians could very well have been a showcase for potential trade deadline suitors. He definitely did not disappoint, allowing just one run on six hits over 6.2 innings, a complete turnaround from his last time out, which was also against the Tribe. But Verlander did not mince words when describing how he pitched in his final game before the All-Star break.
Hard to find any bigger team supporter and cheerleader in that Tigers dugout that Verlander. Definitely an interesting choice of words to describe it all but hey, whatever floats your boat, JV.
Verlander on the season now carries a 5-6 record with a 4.73 ERA in 18 starts. A good chunk of that season ERA is elevated due to four outings against the Indians this season. Take those out of the equation, and Verlander is registering a 3.87 ERA.
He also is well-aware of all the rumors and speculation circulating around the Tigers for the last couple weeks, and other teams looking in more closely at how he pitches.
Verlander and the other hot trade commodities for the Tigers know that general manager Al Avila will be pressed to make some tough decisions between now and July 31. Still optimistic, the long-time Tigers ace still think there’s a glimmer of hope.
Detroit will look to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Indians on Sunday night, the final regular season game before a four-day hiatus with the All-Star festivities right around the corner in Miami.
Tigers All-Star pitcher Michael Fulmer will toe the slab on Sunday, hoping to salvage a Detroit win heading into the break. He will oppose fellow All-Star, Indians ace Corey Kluber.