Verlander proves doubters wrong after 'bad stretch' due to mechanical flaw

by
Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports

Don't call it a come back, Justin Verlander never left.

The Detroit Tigers ace dismantled the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday, going eight strong innings while allowing only a sixth-inning single. With the outing, Verlander has a 1.96 ERA over his last seven starts dating back to July 8.

Following the 10-0 drubbing, Verlander took issue with critics who thought his best days were behind him.

"People are so quick to think pitchers are robots and they write you off because you have a bad stretch," he told the Detroit News' Rod Beard.

Verlander's "bad stretch" was an extended one. In his first 17 starts, he went 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA and a whopping 47 walks over 98 innings. Now he's pitching deeper into games and maintaining his velocity.

Verlander added his struggles were related to a mechanical issue.

"I was searching for mechanics from day one and knew it wasn't right and tinkered with a bunch of different things and finally thought I found it ... and told you guys when I thought I found it," he said. "In the last five or six starts since then, it's been a drastic improvement."

The subject of trade rumors even after the non-waiver trade deadline, Verlander's recent run of top notch starts would make him a premier addition. It could also increase the price.