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.
The Tigers’ opponents in both those series — the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006 and the San Francisco Giants in 2012 — went a full seven games in the National League Championship Series. That was enough to give those clubs an edge over the rested Tigers if you believe Verlander.
The 36-year-old Verlander also admits not delivering a championship to Detroit was one of his biggest baseball regrets. He praises former Tigers owner Mike Ilitch for putting together such strong teams and really trying to win it all. Ilitch died in 2017.
Verlander will make his second-ever start against the Tigers on Wednesday. In his return to Detroit, Verlander gave up two runs over seven innings during a 3-2 win last September.
He’ll look to at least match those numbers Wednesday.
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