Earned a Lecture From Leyland: Verlander 5.0 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 6 ER, -.219 WPA
Obviously we were all expecting a little bit more out of a Justin Verlander/Johan Santana matchup we were treated to last evening. Unfortunately for the Tigers, though, baseball has a funny way of bringing guys back down to earth rather quickly if they don't bring their best stuff to the table ... and last night that happened with Verlander, who has been nearly untouchable since his no-hit performance against Milwaukee a few weeks back.
Verlander was bad from the beginning. Before even earning an out in the first inning, the Twins loaded the bases on a single and two walks. It took 31 pitches to escape the first frame, and the Tigers already found themselves down by two facing off against one of the game's best pitchers in Santana.
Verlander would again load the bases in the fifth on three walks to Twins' batters, and Joe Mauer proceeded to thank him by knocking a line-drive grand slam over the left-field wall to break the game open. This signaled the end of this game for Verlander, who walked five batters in all and never exactly looked in control of his fastball last night.
What was supposed to be one heck of a pitching matchup turned into a laugher last night, and fast. And slowly we're seeing those pesky Twins sneaking up in the Central standings, having won five of their last seven.
Up Next: Today vs. Twins, 3:55 pm (Miller vs. Slowey)