Athletes have their ups and downs, and it’s important for them to learn how to take the good with the bad.
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander is no different. He had a rough 2014, in which his ERA skyrocketed to 4.54 with a 15-12 record. It was quite a difference from 2011 and 2012, when the hard-throwing pitcher compiled a 41-13 record in those two seasons combined, with an average ERA of 2.52. Verlander won his first Cy Young Award and was named AL MVP in 2011, when he was pitching at an otherworldly level.
Verlander is not the same pitcher he was back in 2011, but is still finding ways to blow his fastball by hitters and get them out. And he’s also winning off the field by dating supermodel Kate Upton.
Upton is a friend of Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, who was the subject of a feature story that ESPN the Magazine published on Tuesday. Ricketts spoke about a conversation that he and Upton had earlier in the season, in which the supermodel explained how Verlander dealt with what she called his “worst game ever” in 2014.
“It was my birthday, and he had probably like his worst game ever, and no one had any idea how he’d respond to his worst game ever,” Upton said. “He vented to me in the car and was like, ‘I am going to get blackout drunk.’ So a bunch of us went out and got blackout drunk! I had really good plans to eat popcorn and watch a movie, but he was like, ‘I don’t want to think about it, at all.'”
For the record, Upton turned 22 on June 10, 2014, but Verlander pitched the following day against the White Sox. It was, indeed, a bad start, as the Tigers pitcher gave up seven earned runs in just 5 2/3 innings, and walked four batters as well. But hey, it’s not cool to celebrate your birthday on the actual day anymore, so we understand why the power couple did what they did.