Justin Verlander hasn’t endured too many ruts like this in his career, and he’s not afraid to admit it has bothered him a bit.
The big right-hander pitched well into the sixth inning on Wednesday night but paid dearly for his mistakes as the White Sox batted around en route to an 8-2 win over the Detroit Tigers at U.S. Cellular Field. Despite hitting 99 mph with his fastball, Verlander allowed seven runs — including six in his last inning — eight hits and four walks over 5 2/3 innings as he lost for the fourth time in six starts.
“God, it's really frustrating,” Verlander said. “I feel like I'm right there, and there's been a bunch of games where I feel like it's been right there and then a couple walks and turns in to a big inning. But the stuff is there, just execute a little bit better and repeat.”
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The walks that really hurt Verlander occurred in the sixth inning with the 2011 American League Cy Young and MVP already trailing 3-1. With a man on first and two outs, Verlander walked rookie catcher Adrian Nieto (two walks) and Adam Eaton to load the bases. Gordon Beckham then ripped the first pitch he saw, a 96-mph fastball (Verlander’s 122nd pitch of the game) up the middle for a two-run single.
Reliever Ian Krol took over and gave up a two-run double to Conor Gillaspie and an RBI single to Adam Dunn as the White Sox grabbed an 8-1 lead.
Over his last six starts, Verlander has a 7.41 ERA with 49 hits allowed and 18 walks in 37 2/3 innings.
“Really I felt good, just the walks,” Verlander said. “I need to limit the walks. That one huge inning, I walked a few guys and gave up a couple weak hits and turned it in to a big inning when it shouldn't have been. But like I said, overall stuff felt good. Those big innings I need to limit those walks. I start trying to go a little harder and I end up losing control a little bit, and that's what allowed those guys to have that extended inning.”