Going into the game, he'd lost his last two starts. Against the Cleveland Indians, he gave up six hits and four runs in the seventh inning. Against the Boston Red Sox, he gave up four runs in the fourth inning. Verlander knew he had to be better against New York, via David Mayo of mlive.com:
"Two in a row with big innings, teams stringing together hits, that's not like me," Verlander said. "So I knew that there needed to be something changed."
He went to pitching coach Jeff Jones and asked for help.
"I feel like after one, sometimes, it's OK, just kind of throw it aside, didn't pitch well," Verlander said. "I feel like if two happens, it's starting to begin a pattern, maybe something's not right. That's the way I felt.
"So after this last loss, I went to Jeff and said, 'Hey, we need to figure out what's a little off here and fix it.' So we did a little look-back and compared to some old video and found a couple things that we thought were off and fixed them."
Verlander's amazing night vaulted him past George Mullin for sixth-most career strikeouts in Tigers history, at 1381.