Justin Verlander pitched just one inning for the Detroit Tigers against the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night before being removed with shoulder discomfort. Manager Brad Ausmus said Verlander wanted to stay in the game but there was no sense risking injury when his “delivery looked different.” His pitches looked pretty bad, too.
Despite not wanting to exit after giving up four earned runs in one inning, Verlander admitted he had no command over his pitches.
“Warming up, it didn’t feel great,” he said, via Tom Gage of The Detroit News. “Then it started loosening up. When I got on the mound, there were no sharp pains but the ball wasn’t coming out of my hand good at all.
“I was throwing 88 or 90, the worst stuff of my career. I told Brad I wanted to go back out there and would let him know if it got worse. But he said that was the end of my night. It’s been lingering for a little while, but I didn’t think I’d be risking anything more by going back out there.”
The Tigers lost 11-6 and fell into second place after the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland A’s. Detroit has been in first since June 19, but there are still a lot of games remaining in the regular season. Had this been a postseason game, Ausmus probably would have let Verlander stay in.
“After watching him, I didn’t want to risk him getting seriously injured,” Ausmus explained. “His delivery looked different. My gut told me something was bothering him. I was immediately worried from the start of the game.”
Verlander has not been right all season. He is 10-11 with a 4.76 ERA coming off offseason sports hernia surgery. Miguel Cabrera, who had the same procedure done as Verlander, said last month that both have been struggling to regain their form. Cabrera seems to be having an easier time with it than Verlander.
With David Price now in the mix, the Tigers could have the best postseason rotation in baseball if healthy. Verlander seems to be struggling with the health thing at the moment.