Astros: Justin Verlander is winless in his last five starts
By Eric Huysman
The Astros’ ace Justin Verlander is hungry for some wins. It’s been a while.
Justin Verlander had a great chance of being the starting pitcher for the American League All-Star Game. Luis Severino will most likely get the nod since Verlander will pitch the Sunday before the break. Ironically, Trevor Bauer will be taking his spot on the All-Star roster, after his comments earlier in the year. Since Verlander has joined the Astros, he has won most of the games he has pitched.
Except for the last five starts, where he has sat at nine wins since April 14. Following that game versus the Athletics, Verlander had a 9-2 record with a 1.61 ERA. Verlander limited the A’s offense to three runs on August 14th to get the win. Last night, Verlander pitched six shutout innings, but this time, the bullpen could not hold the 4-0 lead. According to Chandler Rome, Verlander left the clubhouse before the media arrived.
While wins are not the be all and end all, it has to be frustrating for Verlander to pitch five times without the win. I’m not trying to blame the bullpen or offense, Verlander allowed 4 or 5 runs in two of the starts. However, in the other three starts, Verlander allowed two runs or less. The Astros have lost three of the five starts. During that stretch, he has a 3.45 ERA after striking out 40 hitters in 31 1/3 innings pitched. All stats via Baseball-Reference.
What has happened in his last five starts?
While that is not Verlander type numbers, you would think that he would have gotten some more run support. Last night, the Astros still won despite Ken Giles and Hector Rondon blowing the save. On July 5th, Chris Devenski allowed a homer to break the tie after Verlander exited, but the Astros came back to win that game.
Amidst this stretch, Verlander had his worst start of the season versus the Rays. He allowed five runs in his shortest start of the year, only lasting five innings. This was coming off his second worst start of the season, where he allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings vs. the Blue Jays at home. It was good to see Verlander bounce back to form the last few starts. Even the best have a rough streak.
We literally love JV.
On the season, he has a stellar 9-4 record with a 2.05 ERA with 160 strikeouts in 131 2/3 innings. Since coming to the Astros, Verlander has been a different pitcher, much like the Randy Johnson trade in 1999. The difference is that the Astros got two extra seasons with their new ace. Hopefully, the offense and bullpen will help him win his next game, because you know he’s hungry for a win.
Next: Giles demoted to Triple-A to work on things
If you asked him, he would probably say that he doesn’t care about the wins as long as the team wins. On that note, Giles was just optioned down to Triple-A to work on things. As long as Verlander does his thing, I like the Astros odd of winning most of his starts this year. Can’t wait to see what Lance McCullers does tonight after his career high 12 strikeout game last time.