Justin Verlander was riding the struggle bus on Tuesday night against the Yankees, lasting only five innings and giving up three runs on five hits and five walks. The first two innings were especially a struggle for Verlander, who needed a whopping 64 pitches to get his first six outs of the game. To say the least, it wasn't one of his best performances, and Verlander was well aware of that.â†µ
"This is the worst I've ever felt on the mound as a professional baseball player, bar none," said Verlander, who fell to 13-8 with the loss.â†µ
"I was so far from where I needed to be. Sometimes you can make little adjustments here and there, but these were massive adjustments I needed to make. I don't know where these bad habits came from today; all I know is that they need to be fixed in a hurry.â†µ
The reason Verlander is the ace of the pitching staff is evident just from these comments. A bad performance by his standards resulted in only three Yankees scoring, but that produced the worst feeling for him ever on the mound as a professional baseball player. That says a lot about his standards, and he feels that they weren't met on Tuesday.â†µ
"I can't pitch that way. There's no excuse for that. I was missing with everything. Nothing was good. None of my pitches were any good tonight and I wasn't throwing them for strikes.â†µ
"When I did throw them for strikes, they were right down the middle."â†µ
Verlander's biggest problem this season has seemed to be his slow starts. I'm not sure what causes a pitcher to just struggle so much the first time through the batting order, but I'm sure Verlander is well aware that he needs to work on that going forward.