Justin Verlander hopes for time with Mets to be 'fun, new' chapter in 'life book'
Justin Verlander made his first appearance of the spring Saturday afternoon, and has officially begun his time with the New York Mets.
The 17-year MLB veteran admitted following the start that he glanced down at his new uniform while walking out to the mound, and it was “pretty cool” to done the orange and blue for the first time.
“It’s only been a couple of times in my career that I’ve changed uniforms. Obviously a new fanbase and new teammates. We’re just trying to figure each other out," he said after his start was over. "A lot of fun comes with that. It’s a bit nerve-wrecking, but new experiences and new challenges are what helps you write fun, new chapters in your life book. Hopefully, this can be one of them.”
While it is just spring training, Verlander certainly got out to the start both him and the Mets were hoping for. The righty was extremely efficient in his spring debut, allowing just one run across three dominant innings of work.
The only damage against him was a Jean Segura two-out RBI double in the bottom of the first.
Other than that, Verlander generated a ton of swings-and-misses using all four of his pitches. He struck out three batters on the afternoon; Bryan de la Cruz on a nasty slider, Jesus Sanchez on three straight fastballs, and Jacob Amaya on a 95 mph fastball.
While Verlander feels he still has to make one or two small adjustments working with the pitch clock, overall, he was happy with how things went out there.
"The pitch clock was something I wanted to get used to and there might be a couple little adjustments I need to make there," he said. "I just wanted to go out and feel like I just do things normally and see if there’s anything that would need to be adjusted.
Control felt pretty good, I don’t want to be too nit-picky this time of year. First time against competition, you’ve got to allow your body a chance to get used to moving fast again. For a first start, checked all the boxes I would’ve liked," he added. "The eye-test was pretty good."