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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lowe: Tigers’ Justin Verlander still the best, but victories elusive

I have Verlander and King Felix pretty close…and whoever gets to 16 wins loses!.

A year ago today, he got his 20th win of the season in Minnesota. Tonight in Kansas City, he seeks his 13th win. Yet his ERA is almost the same as at this point last season.

When he won his 20th game last season, his ERA rose to 2.38. He finished the season at 2.40.

His ERA for this season is 2.50.

A look at several other categories shows how Verlander is pitching with dominance comparable to last season:

• Quality starts: He went 28-for-34 in quality starts last season. (A quality start is one in which a pitcher goes at least six innings and doesn’t allow more than three earned runs.) He’s 20-for-26 in quality starts this season.

• Strikeouts: Verlander had 250 last season to lead the majors. He’s on pace for 251 this season. (But he might finish second on his own team to Max Scherzer.)

• Slugging percentage: The opposition’s slugging percentage off Verlander last season was .313. This season, it’s .318.

• Homers: Verlander gave up 24 last season. He’s on pace to allow 21 this season.

• Innings pitched: Verlander threw 251 last season to lead the league. He’s on a pace to throw 249 this season.

Repoz Posted: August 28, 2012 at 02:30 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: awards, tigers

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. shoelesjoe Posted: August 28, 2012 at 03:10 AM (#4219830)
A year ago the Tigers scored 4.5 runs a game for Verlander. This year they're scoring 3.5. Same pitcher doing the same damage to opposing line-ups, but of course he won't have the same W/L record.
   2. God Posted: August 28, 2012 at 06:04 AM (#4219861)
Essentially, the writer is unwittingly making the same argument that many of us made last year: that Verlander's 2011 was not really a historically great pitching season.
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: August 28, 2012 at 08:37 AM (#4219890)
Cut John Lowe some slack: He was smart enough to cast his 2010 Cy Young vote for King Felix.
   4. JL Posted: August 28, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4220064)
While I generally agree with post 1, the article does miss one big difference - runs allowed.

While ERA is close enough, Verlander has already given up 10 unearned runs, as opposed to 6 all of last year. Unless you want to allocate all of the blame to the defense, it is clear that Verlander is not pitching better this year (though still arguably the best in the league).
   5. Curse of the Andino Posted: August 28, 2012 at 01:32 PM (#4220200)
While I generally agree with post 1, the article does miss one big difference - runs allowed.

Didn't he have Brandon Inge at 3B last year instead of Cabrera?
   6. dr. scott Posted: August 28, 2012 at 08:07 PM (#4220685)
Inge was in fact at third. What is interesting is that Fielders bat has replaced Inges and runs/game for Verlander is down more than 20%. sounds like the rest of the team had a major regression, or Verlander has forgotten how to inspire his teammates to score runs.

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