In Justin Verlander’s first start of the season, he pitched like an ace.
No, he wasn’t particularly dominant. No, the Mets didn’t win.
But Verlander, 40, took to the mound at Detroit’s Comerica Park on Thursday afternoon. This was a scene in many of his career highlights during his time with the Tigers. Up. Even when the Tigers, one of the worst hitting teams in baseball, forced several of Verlander’s pitches into hard-hitting him out, he remained consistent and scored in five innings. , allowing 5 hits, 2 runs, and 1 walk. He stole five batters on 79 pitches.
That was enough to find the sunshine in a season when the starting rotations of both New York teams seemed almost cursed by injuries and inefficiency.
“I sort of saw his stuff,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said after the game. “It turns out he was aiming for the finale.”
He added: The good thing is he felt good physically. That was the highlight of the day. ”
However, there are still many clouds.
The Mets, who had the highest salary in major league history (and a record tax bill coming), lost 2-0 to complete a brutal three-game sweep in Detroit. They’ve lost nine in their last 11 games, and after the Braves swept the Marlins to 6-6 in his three games, the National League East deficit against Atlanta was his April 22 loss. From half a match he increased to six. Three wins for him Thursday afternoon in Miami.
The season hasn’t been all that great for the Yankees, who have had their worst record in the American League East (17-16) and struggled in the starting lineup beyond their own ace Gerrit Cole.
Going into the season, both rotations were predicted to be the best in baseball. The Yankees, which already boasted his three All-Stars in Nestor Cortez, Luis Severino and Cole, have given All-Star lefty Carlos Rodon a free deal on his six-year, $162 million deal. Added to the agency. The Mets, who had already acquired Max Scherzer, the highest-paid starting pitcher in major league history, complemented the ace with Verlander (which gave him the same $43.3 million salary as Scherzer) and brought in a promising right-hander from Japan. Acquired a certain Chiga Hiroshi. , and veteran lefty Jose Quintana, who was solid in Pittsburgh and St. Louis last season.
The Yankees’ starting rotation ranked 11th in the majors on Thursday with a 4.07 ERA, greatly bolstered by Cole’s Sterling 1.35 effort. And the Mets ranked him 25th with a 5.56. It was last season.
Most of them are due to injuries. Rodon (elbow and back problems) and Severino (back) haven’t pitched yet this season. Quintana (rib surgery) is similar. Senga’s dismal results (3-1, 4.15 ERA) intrigued him, while last season’s breakout star Cortez (3-2, 4.91 ERA) disappointed.
In addition, Scherzer, who is in his second season with the Mets, was ejected against the Dodgers on April 19 and was suspended for 10 games for MLB’s foreign object violation. He struggled in the first game out of his suspension, allowing his six earned runs in his first inning of three and his third in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader.
The Yankees and Mets were combined to start the season 33-31, mainly because a group of Philin starters were unable to carry the loads expected to be carried by the stars. Combined, they were 45 wins and 19 losses.
When the cavalry will arrive is an open question. It was announced this week that Rodon will undergo further examinations on his back, and Quintana, who has just started playing catch, will likely be several months away from returning to action. Severino is on the verge of starting rehab in Class A, but his health will need to be monitored closely as he has only pitched 120 total innings over the past four seasons.
And for all these reasons, Verlander’s return and making it through the start was a positive, even if he lost.