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#pounditTuesday, April 23, 2024

Justin Verlander shares the ‘problem’ with Rangers’ offense

Justin Verlander smiles

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander speaks with the media. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Verlander took the loss in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Texas Rangers on Sunday. He generally pitched well, but he failed to match Rangers starter Jordan Montgomery, who went 6.1 scoreless for the win.

After the game, Verlander talked about the Rangers’ tough offense and shared what the problem is when facing them.

“The problem that presents is that a lineup like that is so deep that you can’t focus on a pocket of hitters and say, ‘if I don’t let them beat me, I’ll be good.’ Every one of their guys has the opportunity to beat you. You’ve got to be on your game 1-9,” Verlander said.

Verlander’s experience on Sunday reflects his quote. Texas’ 1-4 hitters only got one hit off Verlander. But their bottom five hitters got five hits and drove in both runs in the 2-0 victory. Six-hitter Jonah Heim had an RBI single and 9-hitter Leody Taveras homered off Verlander.

You try to take one pitch or one hitter off against a deep lineup like Texas, and they’ll beat you. That’s exactly what happened to Verlander on Sunday. Even Framber Valdez had a tough time with Texas’ lineup in Game 2 on Monday.

The Rangers led the American League with 881 runs scored during the regular season. You don’t get that without having a deep lineup.


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