But when you’re as good as Justin Verlander, and you get pounded this bad, it’s worth wondering what the heck went wrong. Verlander was dominated by the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, giving up nine runs on 11 hits over just four innings. Cleveland tagged the Cy Young runner-up for three home runs during the start.
The Tigers took some time to look over his performance, and determined that Verlander’s stuff was strong. On top of that, they didn’t believe the Indians were stealing their signs either. So, how did Cleveland mash one of the best pitchers of the recent era? An article from the Detroit Free Press suggests Verlander may have been tipping pitches.
Verlander must have heard about that suggestion, and offered the following response:
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) April 17, 2017
There you have it. We have Verlander relaxing in a pool playing the role of the leisured gentleman and tipping back a frosty adult beverage. Given the story going around, we have to imagine the use of the word “tipping” was intentional.
With that said, we can’t tell if Verlander is laughing off the pitch-tipping allegations or merely poking fun at himself. Either way, he seems to be enjoying his off day. We can’t fault him for that.
Back to the pitch-tipping, though. There’s no definitive judgement in that Free Press article that Verlander was doing it during the start. The suggestion is mostly based on the Tigers ruling out everything else and then cryptically saying they would address things internally, but won’t talk about it publicly.
It’s a reasonable assumption, though, it’s unproven. Sometimes pitchers have a tell and other teams figure it out. With a sleight adjustment, Verlander may go back to dominating hitters again. But the Tigers aren’t likely to broadcast any of that to other opponents.
Given his track record, Verlander has probably already worked through the issue and is ready to get back on track his next time out. When you put in hard work to correct your issues, you deserve a few cold ones on your off day.
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