Justin Verlander only lasted an inning on Monday night after giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits and two walks. (Ironically, he struck out all three batters who recorded an out.) Despite the rocky first, a healthy Verlander would’ve been asked to grit his teeth and eat some more innings due to the team’s depleted bullpen as a result of the 19-inning game the day before; however, Verlander was removed with a sore right shoulder, according to the team.
In addition to the shitty first, you knew something more was going on when the dugout was stirring before Verlander’s spot in the batting order came up in the top of the second inning. Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello almost looked like they were going to play a game of RPS for JV’s at bat until Verlander made his way to the on-deck circle. Verlander ultimately hit, but he was visibly unhappy after laying down a sacrifice bunt, rushing through the line of high fives awaiting him in the dugout and tossing his bat and helmet before retiring to the clubhouse.
After the game, Verlander faced the media and called it the worst stuff he’s ever had and expressed nervousness about the first injury-related MRI of his career.
Hopefully there is no structural damage and Verlander makes his next start, but that’d probably be wishful thinking at this point, as Verlander said the shoulder injury has been lingering for a while now and it seems to have reached its tipping point.
Verlander is having by far the worst season of his career and, while there had been encouraging signs of late, Monday’s poor outing will only add fuel to the burning belief amongst some fans that he needs to be shutdown.