‘ERA 4.80→2.08′ resurgent Geum-Kwang Bulbul, Mets’ turnaround just around the corner
The New York Mets are dreaming of a rebound. At the center of it all is ace Justin Verlander, 40, who is starting to wake up.
Verlander took the mound against the Chicago White Sox in the ‘2023 Major League Baseball’ game at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., on Tuesday (July 20).
He faced a White Sox lineup of Andrew Benintendi (left field), Tim Anderson (shortstop), Luis Robert Jr. (center field), Jake Berger (third base), Yasmani Grandal (designated hitter), Gavin Sheets (first base), Carlos Perez (catcher), Oscar Colas (right field), and Elvis Andrews (second base).안전놀이터
Verlander got off to a quick start in the top of the first when Benintendi hit a hard line drive to lead off the inning, but was able to make the catch in left field with the help of Tommy Pham. He then retired Anderson and Roberts Jr. with a four-seam fastball and curveball to end the inning.
He struck out the side in order in the second and third innings. He faced a solid center field, but got out of the jam without too much trouble. The first hit came in the top of the fourth inning. Benintendi singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. He then allowed a stolen base to put runners on first and second, but retired the next two batters.
Meanwhile, the bats came alive. The Mets scored one run in the third inning and four in the fourth to take the pressure off of Verlander. Energized, Verlander continued to shut down the opposition. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, he gave up his first run on a solo shot to left-center field to Robert Jr.
Verlander ended the eighth inning with a triple play to close out the outing, handing the baton to Adam Oviedo in the top of the ninth. His final line was eight innings, three hits (one home run), one walk, seven strikeouts, and one earned run, dropping his ERA from 3.72 to 3.47. The team won 5-1 to improve to 4-0 on the season.
Verlander struggled with injuries and inconsistency early in the season.
Verlander had a rough start to the season with a combination of injuries and inconsistency. He was placed on the disabled list (IL) before the start of the season with inflammation of the supraspinatus muscle in his right shoulder, and after returning, he struggled to a 4.80 monthly ERA in May.
There was a lot of concern about his pitching, which hasn’t looked like it’s been in his prime, with some calling him “aging” as he enters his 40s, but he’s slowly getting back to his best. After dropping his monthly ERA to 3.33 last month, he’s lowered it significantly to 2.08 this month. His rebounding performance has been fueled by his powerful pitches.
The Mets have been steadily building their roster in recent years to get closer to their goal of winning the World Series. So far this season, however, that plan hasn’t worked out. They are 45-50 on the season (through 20 games), which is less than a 5% winning percentage.
However, they have rebounded a bit, going 6-4 in their last 10 games. They are still seven games out of the third wild-card spot in the National League (Philadelphia Phillies), which is the minimum for a postseason berth, but you never know. If the Mets can capitalize on Verlander’s resurgence and build a winning streak, they could make it to fall ball.
Meanwhile, Verlander has been linked to trade rumors lately, with several teams looking to bolster their starting rotation. After the game, Verlander told MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, “Everyone knows when the trade deadline is. But I think we just have to stay together here in the clubhouse and keep doing what we’ve been doing. We have to stay optimistic every day and do what we can to win.”