Justin Verlander has been “struggling” to be, well, Justin Verlander.
After Thursday night’s performance, Verlander is 9-5, 3.54 ERA, 119 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.36.
Yes, that is “struggling,”… at least on Verlander’s terms. But last night, Verlander looked like himself.
He threw seven strong innings, allowing zero runs, and only three hits.
It was only one start, but Verlander believes he’s found out what his problem was.
Earlier in the week, Verlander talked about his mechanics on Mike & Mike here on ESPN 96.1:
“It’s been a battle for me personally this year, mechanics wise to just repeat my delivery like I have in the past … I think I found something in my last bullpen session, before my last start.”
From watching Verlander’s start on Thursday night, he looks like he may have fixed the problem. On Mike & Mike, Verlander tells us he believes he found the problem.
“We looked at some video from a couple years ago and compared it to now. My shoulder angle, when I deliver, is way too angled. I think that led to me being too inconsistent trying to deliver the ball. Especially with my fastball command and that’s the root of my problems this year.”
On Thursday night, Verlander was hitting his spots with his fastball and letting the breaking ball do it’s magic. He looked like he had found his rhythm and was throwing at a pace where he was comfortable.
It always helps when your team gives you four runs in the first three innings, but that’s exactly what I believe Verlander needed – confidence.
Once Verlander fully regains his confidence in his “stuff” and in himself, we will soon see the Verlander we are accustomed to seeing.
“Everything’s healthy,” Verlander told Mike & Mike.
Teams around the league should be on their game, because the Verlander that fans saw on Thursday night looked suspiciously like the old Verlander, and that bodes well for the Tigers as they enter the second half of the season and head towards the playoffs.
Justin Verlander has been struggling to find his groove this season, but he had it going against the Blue Jays though. detroit.tigers.mlb.com
detroit.tigers.mlb.com says that Omar Infante is still sore from getting slid into, but is off crutches.