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Justin Verlander Newsbeat

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Despite loss, starting Justin Verlander on short rest was right call

The Astros were stopped in their tracks by the Rays on Tuesday night, dropping Game 4 of the ALDS 4-1 to force a decisive Game 5 on Thursday. AL Cy Young Award candidate Justin Verlander, who was excellent in Game 1, started on three days’ rest. It did not go well.

The Rays bombarded Verlander for three runs in the first inning a Tommy Pham solo homer and RBI singles from Travis d’Arnaud and Joey Wendle. Verlander would also serve up a solo homer to Willy Adames in the fourth. Verlander was unable to complete the fourth inning. His final line: four runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts on 84 pitches across 3 2/3 innings.

Tuesday marked Verlander’s shortest postseason start of his career. His 33 game score is tied for his worst in the postseason along with his Game 1 start in the 2012 World Series against the Giants.

Starting Verlander on short rest was a bad call by manager A.J. Hinch, right? I’m not so sure. The data we have on pitchers pitching on short rest isn’t terribly great but Craig Edwards at FanGraphs worked around it a bit by focusing on a potential symptom Verlander might show starting on short rest. He created two data sets, called “High Velo Start” (fastball averages 94.5 MPH or better) and “Low Velo Start” (fastball averages 94.4 MPH or lower). Edwards found that in 10 “low velo starts” this season, Verlander’s strikeout rate significantly decreased and his walk rate increased, as did his home run rate. His “low velo” FIP was 4.09.

A rather suspect argument, if we can be frank on the matter…..

 

QLE Posted: October 09, 2019 at 12:29 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, playoffs, short rest

Friday, October 04, 2019

Trout, Verlander, Yates win Baseball Digest awards

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Trout has been chosen major league player of the year by Baseball Digest and eBay.

The star outfielder from the Los Angeles Angels edged Dodgers slugger Cody Bellinger by two points in voting by a 17-member panel of baseball writers, broadcasters, former players and executives.

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander was selected pitcher of the year and San Diego Padres closer Kirby Yates got picked as the top reliever.

The awards were announced Thursday. Trout also won in 2014.

And now, awards seasons has officially begun….

 

QLE Posted: October 04, 2019 at 12:49 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: awards and honors, baseball digest, justin verlander, kirby yates, mike trout

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Houston Astros’ Justin Verlander reaches 3,000 career strikeouts, 300 in ‘19

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander reached a pair of milestones Saturday night, becoming the 18th major league pitcher to reach 3,000 career strikeouts and the 19th in the modern era (since 1900) to record 300 strikeouts in a season.

Verlander, 36, entered Saturday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels with 2,994 strikeouts. He achieved the career milestone in the fourth inning when he got Kole Calhoun swinging at a slider. Calhoun reached first, though, on a wild pitch and Andrelton Simmons then gave Los Angeles a 3-0 lead with a two-run homer to left-center.

Verlander’s feat was recognized on the scoreboard at Angel Stadium, and he was congratulated by teammates in the Astros dugout at the end of the inning.

According to Baseball-Reference and Retrosheet, it’s the first time a pitcher has recorded his 3,000th strikeout on a wild pitch.

 

 

QLE Posted: September 29, 2019 at 12:01 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, milestones, strikeouts

Monday, September 23, 2019

For Justin Verlander, 20 wins a special moment

It wasn’t a record-setting day for Justin Verlander, but it was a winning one — a 20th victory, a division championship, a chance to celebrate and to imagine highlights still to come in a remarkable season and career.

Verlander lasted five innings in Sunday’s 13-5 Astros victory over the Angels, allowing two runs on six hits with five strikeouts, his lowest total in a month. He threw 92 hard-fought pitches against an Angels lineup seemingly determined to delay his inexorable march toward 3,000 career strikeouts.

With 2,994 career K’s, Verlander (20-6) has one more regular-season start to get six more. But the 20-win season — the second in his career and the first since he won 24 games for the Tigers in 2011 — is his. So is the satisfaction of prevailing on a day when he had to work under duress from the first inning on.

“Sometimes these games when you don’t have your best stuff and you’re able to grind and make pitches when you absolutely have to and there’s a lot of stress but you’re able to get out of it, those sometimes feel better than when everything goes perfect,” he said.

Something to reflect upon in terms of meaning, as pitching wins (both per season and for a career) continue shifting downward.

 

QLE Posted: September 23, 2019 at 12:31 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, milestones, wins

Friday, September 13, 2019

In era of analytics, Astros aces Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole are keeping it old-school

And in this age of analytics, Verlander insists, it’s time to quantify the amount of innings a starter provides. He has pitched at least 200 innings in all but one season since his rookie year, leading the major leagues three times and once again this season.

“You can’t put a number on it because people can’t quantify how valuable it is,’’ Verlander says. “But the second they can put a number on an inning, and how valuable it is, it would be dramatic. Just saving the bullpen, the impact those extra innings have, and what that means, I don’t think anybody has ever tried to tackle that, I think it’s valuable. Extremely valuable.’’...

This is why it’s mind-boggling that in this era, it’s not so much the strikeouts Cole and Verlander are compiling, but the fact that fewer than one baserunner an inning is reaching base. While Cole values his quality starts and innings the most, Verlander’s favorite stat is WHIP.

“Gerrit and I have talked about this a lot,’’ Verlander said. “I think WAR is a pretty fickle number for starting pitchers, but the WHIP, that’s our job, to limit baserunners. The batting average against is a nice stat, but if you’re walking three or four batters per nine innings, the way batters now count a hit as good as a walk for OPS, those walks might as well be hits.

“Call me old-fashioned, but I still like ERA, too.’’

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 13, 2019 at 08:26 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: gerrit cole, justin verlander

Thursday, September 05, 2019

Awards Watch: Will Justin Verlander’s Teammate Snatch His Cy Young Award?

There’s just one month left in the 2019 regular season, but the AL awards races may already be decided. For that, you can blame the two Hall of Famers having career-best seasons, plus a crop of rookie players that, for the most part, hasn’t delivered as expected. Still, there could be some drama late, particularly in the Cy Young race, where a pair of teammates may be headed for a photo finish, as well as two super-prospects poised to slug it out for ROY honors. Here’s how everyone stands with August over and September underway (and here’s how the award races looked back in August).

...

Verlander’s no-hitter against the Blue Jays on Sunday may have sewn up his second Cy Young award and first since 2011; since that season, he’s finished second in the voting three times, including last year. Then again, this final month could prove crucial, given the hard charge of the man right behind him in both this list and in his own rotation.

...

Pick your flavor of strikeout stat, and Cole is at (or near) the top. Not only does he lead the majors in total strikeouts (narrowly edging out Verlander), but he’s also No. 1 among starters in strikeout-per-nine rate (13.6), strikeout percentage (38.7), and strikeout-minus-walk percentage (32.4). He’s also second in swinging-strike rate, just behind Max Scherzer, and in average fastball velocity among starters at 97.1 mph, trailing only Noah Syndergaard. Cole would need a big September to overtake Verlander, but given that he’s put up a 1.98 ERA since the beginning of June, it’s not out of the question.

I assume the Cy Young Award was stolen because they couldn’t find the fine china?

 

QLE Posted: September 05, 2019 at 03:51 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: awards, gerrit cole, justin verlander

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

Red Sox hope Chris Sale is Justin Verlander, but what if he’s Tim Lincecum?

In 2014, Tigers ace Justin Verlander underwent abdominal surgery to address a lingering core muscle issue. He returned in time for Opening Day, but posted the second-worst ERA of his career. Shoulder and triceps injuries took a bite out of his production, limiting him to 20 starts in 2015. Many wondered if he could transition from power pitcher to whatever came next without entering a permanent decline.

By that same season, a two-time Cy Young Award winner just four months younger than Verlander already had his answer, and it was a resounding no. Tim Lincecum burned bright, burned fast, and then burned out. After winning consecutive Cy Young Awards with the Giants despite a violent delivery considered a ticking time bomb, Lincecum’s fall came swiftly. At age 28 in 2012, he led the NL in losses. By 2016, his career was effectively over after he posted a 9.00 ERA with the Angels.

Just days after Verlander’s third career no-hitter put him in elite, Hall of Fame company, why are we comparing him to a contemporary who hasn’t thrown a pitch in three years?

Because Verlander and Lincecum, respectively, feel like Chris Sale’s best- and worst-case scenarios.

Mind you, I think the Red Sox fans will take winning two more World Series even if it means Sale is one of the worst pitchers in the league, and who are we to worry about John Henry’s bankroll?

 

QLE Posted: September 04, 2019 at 01:37 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: chris sale, justin verlander, tim lincecum

Monday, September 02, 2019

Justin Verlander no-hitter: Inside the numbers behind Verlander’s third career no-hitter

On Sunday, Astros right-hander Justin Verlander threw the fourth no-hitter in Major League Baseball this season, against the Blue Jays. It was also the second Astros no-hitter on the year after four pitchers combined to throw a no-hitter in August. It was Verlander’s second consecutive no-hitter at Rogers Centre, making him the first pitcher in MLB history with multiple no-hitters on the road against the same opponent.

At 36 years old, Verlander proved he’s still got a lot left in him for another World Series run while also propelling himself at the top of the American League Cy Young Award race. Here’s his final line:

...

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the other numbers involved.

A consideration of a no-hitter, and some of the environment it interconnects with.

QLE Posted: September 02, 2019 at 03:59 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, no-hitter, numbers

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

LEADING OFF: Verlander vs Morton, Cubs and Mets get wild

PAIR OF ACES

Former teammates and 2019 All-Stars square off in a prime pitching matchup when Charlie Morton (13-5, 2.85 ERA) and the Rays face Justin Verlander (15-5, 2.77) in Houston. With the Rays locked in a close wild-card race and the Astros leading the AL West, it’s a potential October preview. Verlander, first in the majors with 239 strikeouts, fanned 11 last time out and went the distance on a two-hitter in a 2-1 loss to Detroit. He has seven straight double-digit strikeout games. Morton spent the past two years with the Astros and helped them win the 2017 World Series.

WILD IN THE CITI

Kyle Schwarber and the Cubs visit the Mets in the opener of a pivotal three-game series at Citi Field. New York trails Chicago by two games for the second NL wild card. Both teams were off Monday after getting swept at home last weekend — the Mets by Atlanta, the Cubs by Washington. Chicago hopes to have Anthony Rizzo back in the lineup. The first baseman left Saturday’s game with tightness in his back and sat out Sunday. Yu Darvish (4-6, 4.43 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Cubs against Marcus Stroman (7-11, 3.18), who exited his previous start with left hamstring tightness.

Last I heard, Teams Gone Wild was only available in the sleazier parts of town- and, even then, only in a brown paper bag and on a cash-only basis.

QLE Posted: August 27, 2019 at 06:04 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: charlie morton, cubs, justin verlander, lucas giolito, masahiro tanaka, mets, yusei kikuchi

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Justin Verlander responds after Astros block Free Press from media session

The Houston Astros blocked a Detroit Free Press reporter from attending Justin Verlander’s postgame media session on Wednesday night, violating Baseball Writers’ Association of America protocol and possibly the MLB collective bargaining agreement.

The Astros blocked Free Press writer Anthony Fenech at Verlander’s request, according to Gene Dias, Astros vice president of communications. Dias said Verlander was “adamant” that he would not speak to any credentialed media while Fenech was present.

Fenech has been the Tigers beat writer for the Free Press since 2015.

On Thursday, Verlander tweeted that the block stemmed from “his unethical behavior in the past.”  Verlander did not mention Fenech by name. It wasn’t immediately clear what Verlander was referring to.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 22, 2019 at 01:46 PM | 133 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Brewers vs. Astros - Verlander Strikes Out 15 - ESPN

Verlander Ks 15.

On a night when the Milwaukee Brewers struck out again and again, piling up a season-high 24 K’s against the Houston Astros, one big swing by Mike Moustakas made all those whiffs way easier to swallow.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 13, 2019 at 06:21 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, justin verlander

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Justin Verlander has an interesting theory on why his Tigers teams never won a World Series

Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander has one World Series ring, but he believes he could have more. Verlander made the World Series twice as a member of the Detroit Tigers, but the team came up short both times.

Verlander thinks he knows why the team couldn’t get the job done. He told WXYZ-TV Detroit the time off between the Championship Series and the World Series played a big role in that.

As Verlander explains, the time off between those games cooled the Tigers down. He believes that winning it all “comes down to the hottest team at the right time. And we were the hottest team twice. And we got cooled off by the week layoff for the World Series both times. Sucks.”

We can’t definitively prove the “hottest team” wins every time, but we can look into Verlander’s claim that the Tigers were that team prior to the World Series.

With logic like this, we can understand why relievers go berserk about their usage and baseball players generally go nuts about the idea of a pitch clock.

QLE Posted: May 14, 2019 at 03:32 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, tigers

Saturday, May 11, 2019

MLB roundup: Verlander, Astros stifle Rangers

Justin Verlander allowed one hit over seven strong innings, and the Houston Astros belted three solo homers while overcoming an injury to star Jose Altuve to beat the visiting Texas Rangers 3-0 on Friday night for their third consecutive victory.

Verlander, who improved to 6-1 with a 2.51 ERA, struck out eight and yielded only Asdrubal Cabrera’s single to lead off the fifth inning as the Astros won for the sixth time in seven games. It’s the third time in Verlander’s career that he has allowed just one hit in a start against the Rangers.

However, Houston’s latest victory might have come with a price as Altuve exited with left hamstring discomfort in the bottom of the first after beating out an infield hit. The team listed him as day-to-day.

For the rest of the night, the Astros were just fine without Altuve. Jake Marisnick clubbed his third homer of the season, a deep shot to right-center in the third inning. In the seventh, with two outs and Texas starter Lance Lynn in a nice groove, Yuli Gurriel and Robinson Chirinos delivered back-to-back home runs to pad the Astros’ advantage.

So, any subjects of interest that we’ve missed?

QLE Posted: May 11, 2019 at 04:38 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, jose altuve, justin verlander, rangers

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

MLB roundup: Twins’ Odorizzi outduels Astros’ Verlander

Ehire Adrianza homered, and Jake Odorizzi pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Justin Verlander as the Minnesota Twins edged the Houston Astros 1-0 on Monday night in Minneapolis.

It was the third consecutive win for Odorizzi (3-2), including two in a row over the Astros. He allowed four singles and a walk while striking out seven.

Taylor Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth, and Blake Parker erased a leadoff single to Carlos Correa to start the ninth by inducing Yuli Gurriel to hit into a double play. Parker then got Josh Reddick to ground out to end the game for his sixth save.

Verlander (4-1), who lost for just the third time in his past 21 starts (14-3) against Minnesota, gave up two hits, two walks and a run over six innings before departing after throwing 100 pitches, 66 of which were strikes. He struck out seven.

So, how will they duel next?

 

QLE Posted: April 30, 2019 at 04:06 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: jake odorizzi, justin verlander

Friday, April 19, 2019

Justin Verlander wants to be the Tom Brady of baseball

It’s Justin Verlander’s 36th birthday.

The day he officially moves closer to 40 years old than 30. The day he creeps nearer to middle age and further away from the best physical version of himself. Not that you’d ever know it.

“Happy birthday,” shouts pitcher Brad Peacock, who’s seated on one of the tan leather couches in the middle of the Houston Astros’ spring training clubhouse. It’s 8:16 on a balmy south Florida morning, Feb. 20, and Verlander has just entered the locker room. Dressed in a powder blue, collared shirt and navy shorts, he is a whirlwind alpha-dog presence.

“Twenty-seven again,” shouts Verlander with a broad and mischievous grin. Though the comment is directed at Peacock, he speaks loudly enough for everyone in the spacious room to hear. “Prime of my career.”

Wait a minute- this isn’t some sort of gross insult, but something one would want to be?

 

QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:49 PM | 117 comment(s)
  Beats: justin verlander, tom brady

 

 

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