It was not all that long ago that anyone could tune into Detroit sports radio or have a conversation about the Detroit Tigers and some misguided fan would say it is time for the Tigers to trade Justin Verlander. Sure, he made have had a down regular season, sure by the high standards he has set for himself he has a sub par 2013. However, with the season on the line who would Tigers Nation rather turn to? For the second year in a row, on the road, JV has gone out and extended the Tigers post season.
Simply but Verlander is one of the biggest reasons, and one of the most consistent pieces, that the Tigers are playing in their third straight ALCS. In 2012 JV took the ball in game five in Oakland and pitched a complete game 4 hit shutout. He struck out 11. Last night, October 10, 2013, JV took the ball once again with his team's season on the line. All he did was throw 8 innings of 2 hit shutout ball and strike out 11. Trade Justin Verlander, what a joke.
JV's record in the ALDS is outstanding. In four series he is 4-0 with a 1.79 ERA and 60 strike outs. Amazingly enough he has given up just 26 hits in those four series. Granted his record in the ALCS and World Series needs some improvement. As everybody knows legends are made in October and a player's greatness is largely defined by what they do on the biggest stage.
In three ALCS series JV is 3-1 but is ERA is 4.32. He has given up 23 hits five of which were home runs. In the ALCS his strike out rate drops to 7.9 K/9 where it is 11.9 in the ALDS. JV has yet to win a World Series game pitching three games in two different series (2006 and 2012) of them. On the biggest stage he is 0-3 with a ERA over 7. There is still work to do there.
In he end though, Tigers fans don't need JV to be lights out in July. Especially when we consider the group of starters he played with in 2013, but they do need him to be at his best now. So far it looks like he is, but time will tell.