Well Jordan Schusterman
FOX Sports MLB Writer
Tuesday against v Marines, Justin Verlander struck out 12 through seven masterful innings Astros won 4-1marking their 27th win in their previous 32 games against Seattle at Minute Maid Park.
From the first inning it was clear that Verlander was on a mission to shut down the Marioners and regain his dominance in less than two weeks when he did not allow six runs to Seattle at his worst start to the season.
It was a vintage Verlander, a performance that loudly reminded everyone who watched why he was one of the greatest who ever did it.
At 39, Verlander is the seventh most active player on the MLB list:
* Albert Pujols (DOB: 16.01.80)
* Rich Hill (DOB: 4/11/80)
* Nelson Cruz (born: 01.07.80)
* Adam Wainwright (b. 30.08.81)
* Nuclear Molina (born: 13.07.82)
* Darren O’Day (DOB: 22.10.82)
* Justin Verlander (born 20.02.83)
* Sergio Roma (born 3/4/83)
* Miguel Cabrera (born: 18.04.83)
In the offseason, I wrote about Verlander’s quick return from Tommy John’s surgery as well complete lack of historical precedent for the starting pitcher it’s good who throws it’s hard getting ucl operation on this age and a return to peak form. In some ways, the fact that we’ve never seen it made me think that Verlander – if anyone – could do it. But I also had to respect decades of history that suggested we shouldn’t count on anything.
However, I was wondering: can we see the 2019 version of Verlander again? Would a return to the elite level be too much to expect from someone his age?
Well, 11 is starting its return season, it’s hard to believe that Verlander wasn’t there at all. In fact, apart from a few minor differences, it’s almost awful how little has changed.
His numbers are again some of the best in the American League:
* 2019: 2.58 ERA, 3.27 FIP, 0.803 WHIP, .171 BAA, 35.4% strikeout, 5.0% gait rat
* 2022: 2.13 ERA, 3.44 FIP, 0.837 WHIP, 0.182 BAA, 27.0% strikeout, 5.2% walk
His repertoire? Fewer changes, but otherwise the same:
* 2019: 49.9% Fastball (94.7 mph), 28.4% Slider (87.6 mph), 17.5% Curveball (79.5 mph), 4.2% Change (87.0 mph)
* 2022: 48.7% FB (94.8 mph), 31.0% SL (87.3 mph), 19.0% CB (78.5 mph), 1.4% CH (85.4 mph)
What repulsed swords does he allow? It looks awful:
* 2019: 18.9% linear drive, 35.9% ground ball, 45.2% flying ball
* 2022: 19.1% linear drive, 37.1% ground ball, 43.8% flying ball
In fact, Verlander continued where he left off.
Also, unlike Hill and Wainwright – two of his elders who have long accepted their reality as cunning throws – Verlander can still turn on the radar if he wants to. His eighth strike was on Tuesday arrived at 96.9 miles per hour Fastball at Eugenio Suarez, who was seventh on the Verlander Heavy Duty this season. His highest speed of the season was 98.3 mph, which returned on May 15 against Washington.
Now the Verlander heater is not as hot as before. At the peak of the flamethrower in 2009, its average fastball speed was 95.6 miles per hour, 58.6% of its heaters accelerated faster than 96 miles per hour, and it touched 100 miles per hour. In 2017, 33.8% of his fast balls were 96 mph and above.
This season, only 11.1% of Verlander heaters have registered via Statcast at 96 mph or higher – but that’s exactly in line with the 10.9% mark it released in 2019, and that was enough for it to win yet one Sai Young Award. We may no longer see from his three-digit numbers, but 97 miles per hour is clearly still aside; he just turns to him much less often.
It should also be noted that Verlander did not record a double-digit strikeout of the game in 2022 before coming out on Tuesday against Seattle. His 27 percent steal rate is still very good, but he is not in the top 15 qualified starting lineups.
And although his pure material seems almost identical to what it was in 2019, this season is reflected by much more contact with Verlander. The strikers have 79.1% of contacts on the fly, which would be the highest mark that Verlander has allowed since 2015. The strikers are also just waving against him more than ever, especially on the margins in the zone: 77.3% Z-Swing% and 53.4% total swing% – these are both career highs.
Justin Verlander, Jacob DeGrom and others awarded the MLB Top Honors
Ben Verlander awards his outstanding MLB marks for 2022, naming Justin Verlander, Jacob de Grom and others.
However, the results remained positive because Verlander has excellent defense behind him and still causes a lot of weak contacts. You can point to his MLB-low BABIP vs. .216 and say he was lucky, but his MLB-low BABIP vs. .218 in 2019 suggests that this is only part of what Verlander is capable of doing at this stage of his career. ‘era.
He may not be throwing or gaining so much K, but he still works great in the most important part of his job: coming out. He leads the American League in filing, having his 2.13 ERA with MLB-leading 0.837 WHIP, and he strikes out roughly an imprint for inning, even with declining breaths.
Verlander may not win AL Cy Young again – though he may end up having pretty strong affairs – but he’s still, arguably, great.
What’s more, Verlander’s 12 draws on Tuesday against Seattle helped him surpass Max Scherzer and John Smoltz on the all-time list. He is now 17th with 3086 K’s in his career in the regular season and he will continue to host the current and future Hall of Fame until the end of this season.
In fact, he could actually catch Seabath (3093), Kurt Schilling (3116), Bob Gibson (3117), Pedro Martinez (3154) and Fergie Jenkins (3192) in 2022, which would have taken him 12th place in his 40s. season. Verlander’s ascent to this list certainly won’t stop; he says on the record he wants to fall to 45.
And from what we’ve seen in 2022, there’s no reason to believe he won’t be able to do that.
Jordan Schusterman – half @CespedesBBQ and baseball writer for FOX Sports. He lives in DC but is a big fan of Seattle Mariners and loves to watch KBO, which means he doesn’t get enough sleep. You can follow him on Twitter @j_shusterman_.
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