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A game used Nike shirt that was worn by future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander in his rookie season authenticatedby DC Sports. From 2006-2010 Justin Verlander signed autographs exclusively with DC SPORTS. There is no better place to get a Justin Verlander autograph. They sold many items used by Justin Verlander during those years. Their website even has Cabrera items with whom they have dealt with in the past. This was obtained directly during his rookie season and directly from Justin Verlander. COmes with a COA from DC Sports as well as their business card. They are presently known asdetroitcitysportsand still have exclusive clientele.
This Nike shirt is numbered on the tag with his number 35
Justin has signed as follows:
Justin Verlander 352006 AL ROY2006 Game Used
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Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to an $80 million, five-year contract, the Associated Press reported Wednesday night.
Sources confirmed the agreement to ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.Verlander won a career-high 19 games with a career-best 3.45 ERA last season. He is 65-43 with a 3.92 ERA in four full seasons with the Tigers.
The sides agreed to bypass salary arbitration. When figures were exchanged last month, Verlander asked for $9.5 million for next season and the team offered $6.9 million.
Verlander ended up securing a more lucrative contract than Felix Hernandez. The Seattle Mariners gave their ace a $78 million, five-year deal. Verlander turns 27 this month and Hernandez, who is 58-41 with a 3.45 ERA, will be 24 in April.
Verlander made $3,675,000 last season.
Detroit's decision to keep Verlander with a long-term deal backs up the franchise's claim that it is still committed to spending money to stay competitive.
The Tigers traded popular outfielder Curtis Granderson and All-Star pitcher Edwin Jackson for younger, cheaper players. They also let second baseman Placido Polanco along with relievers Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon leave in free agency.Detroit did, though, instill some hope for this season when it landed closer Jose Valverde with a $14 million, two-year deal.
Even if the Tigers are done reshaping their roster, they'll be able to appease at least some fans by keeping Verlander under contract for at least five more years. With the new deal, they won't risk losing him in free agency after the 2011 season.
The hard-throwing Verlander is the only pitcher in baseball history to toss a no-hitter, start a World Series game and be a rookie of the year and an All-Star in his first two full seasons.
Detroit drafted Verlander with the second pick of the 2004 amateur draft and signed him just before losing his rights.
He dominated minor league competition in 2005, compiling an 11-2 record and 1.29 ERA at Class A Lakeland and Double-A Erie, and fared well in his first full season with the Tigers.
He was 17-9 in 2006 -- earning AL Rookie of the Year honors -- and helped Detroit advance to the World Series for the first time since 1984. He became the first Tigers pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Jack Morris did it during the 1984 championship season.
"When you're hitting your spots at 100 [mph], to be honest, it's going to be a tough day," Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder said after Verlander's no-hitter. "The guy throws 95 to 100, so you're not looking for a slider, and when he throws it that good for a strike it just kind of buckles you and you have to tip your cap."
Verlander was 18-6 in his second season and made the All-Star team. Only Dwight Gooden, who won 41 games for the New York Mets during the 1984-85 seasons, won more games among pitchers in their first two full seasons since 1970.
After struggling two years ago with an 11-17 record, Verlander bounced back with a sensational season.
He led the majors with 269 strikeouts, 240 innings pitched and 35 starts in 2009. His 19 wins matched the top total in both leagues.
Former teammate Kenny Rogers said Verlander's wicked fastball, wildly breaking curve and knee-buckling changeup give him an assortment of pitches that reminded him only of Nolan Ryan.
"He's only going to get better and that's scary for other teams," Rogers has said.
Minnesota Twins outfielder Delmon Young played with Verlander in the 2005 All-Star Futures Game and knows him off the field because his brother, Dmitri, played in Detroit. They're friendly, but that doesn't mean Young enjoys facing Verlander.
"It's not fun facing him when a guy can uncork a fastball at 101 [mph] and drop a dirty split-fingered changeup, and then a hammer, a curveball, that's really tough to hit," Young once said. "The guy has amazing tools. He knows how to pitch, and he's only going to get better.
"Just stay healthy, and this guy can win multiple Cy Youngs," he said.
TOLEDO, Ohio - The decision on when Justin Verlander returns to Major League Baseball will ultimately be made by the Detroit Tigers.
But Verlander says he's ready to rejoin the Tigers' rotation now after pitching well Saturday during his second rehab start for the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field.
If his arm feels good Sunday, Verlander will almost certainly be back in the Tigers rotation within the next week.
"I feel like today was the step I wanted to see," said Verlander, who has been on the disabled list all season and was making his second rehab start for Toledo. "The biggest thing was getting my pitch count up and getting some innings, not just throwing three innings.
"I felt everything was much better today than last time out. I think the most improvement was fastball control but the off-speed stuff, I had a decent feel for it. Slider early wasn't great but started to get a better feel for it as the game went on."
Verlander pitched 5 2/3 innings against the Columbus Clippers, allowed four hits, no walks, one earned run and struck out nine in a 6-1 loss. He threw 93 pitches - 69 for strikes - before departing with the score tied 1-1.
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Justin Verlander has better command of pitches, especially fastball, in second rehab start
Verlander allowed four hits, no walks, one earned run and struck out nine for the Toledo Mud Hens.
That was a big change from last week, when he struggled in his first rehab start against the Indianapolis Indians. He was touched for three earned runs and six hits while walking two and throwing 79 pitches in 2 2/3 innings vs. the Indianapolis Indians.
Verlander was able to get ahead in the count early for most of his second appearance with the Mud Hens, getting a first-pitch strike on 18 of the 21 batters he faced.
"That's always a good sign," Verlander said. "That goes hand in hand with fastball control. I was able to locate well and hit the corners first pitch, not just 'Here it is' right down the middle. I thought I put it in a good location.
"Control was much better today. I felt like for the most part I was able to hit my spots and get ahead of guys and execute my pitches much better."
Verlander and Toledo manager Larry Parrish both said it wasn't their call as to when the 2011 MVP and Cy Young Award winner returns to the Tigers' rotation but both feel he's ready.
"It wasn't my call but he looked like he was ready today," Parrish said while dining on a lobster and steak postgame dinner courtesy of Verlander, who treated the entire clubhouse to the spread. "In Indy, no. But today, yeah.
"I thought everything else was pretty much the same but his command of the ball got better. Pitched downhill better. That's the thing. If you're going to pitch in the big leagues, at an angle and hitting your spots, that's what it's all about."
Verlander faced the minimum nine batters through the first three innings and retired 10 straight Clippers before Columbus got its second hit of the game in the fourth inning. He had a shutout going until talking Parrish out of replacing him in the sixth.
Parrish visited the mound with two outs, a man on first and cleanup hitter Jesus Aguilar at the plate. Verlander wanted to finish the inning but he didn't make it after Aguilar sent a double to the fence in center field to tie it 1-1.
Verlander laughed when recalling his exchange with Parrish.
"He (asked) can I get him out in three pitches and I said yeah," Verlander said. "So I threw four, five and then told (catcher Miguel Gonzalez) we got to go right down the middle here. Throw it right down the middle and hope to get an out.
"Didn't get an out, he hit a double, but didn't want to end up in another 10-pitch at-bat and then be at 95, 96 (pitches). That wouldn't have made L.P. look good either. Here it is. Hit it."
Verlander is obviously eager to rejoin the Tigers, especially since they had lost eight straight before beating the White Sox Saturday, but he wasn't about to rush his return just because the team is in a slump.
"I don't think you can think that way," he said. "You just have to go through the process. You can't rush things. That's how you reinjure yourself. I would like to be there trying to help but like Brad (Ausmus) told me the best way I can help is to be healthy.
"It's tough to be on the sidelines. It's tough to be in the game. It's tough to be a part of it. But I've been on some really good teams that went through some stretches where we didn't play good baseball. I still believe we have a great team.
"I think when we turn it around it's going to be a lot of fun."
Another Tigers pitcher, Bruce Rondon, is in Toledo on a rehab assignment but his night didn't go nearly as well.
Rondon was scheduled to pitch two innings but only managed to go one, allowing four hits - including the Clippers' only home run - four earned runs and three walks while striking out one. He got the loss.
Justin Brooks Verlander (born February 20, 1983) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Detroit Tigers for 13 seasons, with whom he made his major league debut on July 4, 2005. As a former ace in the Tigers' starting rotation, he was regarded as a key figure in four consecutive American League (AL) Central division championships from 2011−2014. He is among the career pitching leaders for the Tigers, including ranking second in strikeouts (2,373), seventh in wins (183), and eighth in innings pitched (2511). A right-handed batter and thrower, Verlander stands 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) tall and weighs 225 pounds (102 kg).
The winner of a number of accolades, Verlander is a six-time MLB All-Star and has led the AL in strikeouts four times. In 2006, Verlander was named the AL Rookie of the Year. On June 12, 2007, he pitched a no-hitter—the first ever at Comerica Park—against the Milwaukee Brewers. Verlander had his most successful season in 2011. He pitched his second career no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 7, 2011. By season's end, Verlander achieved the Pitching Triple Crown, and unanimously won the AL Cy Young Award, the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. and the Sporting News Player of the Year Award. On August 31, 2017, the Tigers traded Verlander to the Astros. For his performance in the 2017 American League Championship Series, he was named MVP.
From Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, Verlander attended Old Dominion University (ODU) and played college baseball for the Monarchs. He broke the Monarchs' and Colonial Athletic Association's career records for strikeouts. At the 2003 Pan American Games, Verlander helped lead the United States national team to a silver medal. The Tigers selected him in the first round and as the second overall pick of the 2004 first-year player draft.
Contents [hide]1 Baseball career1.1 Amateur career1.2 Minor leagues1.3 Detroit Tigers1.3.1 2005–20081.3.2 2009–20101.3.3 20111.3.4 20121.3.5 20131.3.6 20141.3.7 20151.3.8 20161.3.9 20171.4 Houston Astros1.4.1 2017 postseason2 Pitching style3 Charity work4 Personal life5 Awards and accolades6 See also7 References8 External linksBaseball careerAmateur careerVerlander's father Richard sent him to The Richmond Baseball Academy. He was able to throw his fastball 84 mph (135 km/h) shortly after joining the academy. His velocity plateaued at 86 mph (138 km/h) during his senior year at Goochland High School, during which he was sidetracked by strep throat. Verlander's velocity reached 87 mph (140 km/h) during his first year at Old Dominion.
Verlander, a 6′ 5", 200 pound (1.96 m, 91 kg) right-handed pitcher, played for the Old Dominion University baseball team for three years. On May 17, 2002, he struck out a then-school record 17 batters against James Madison. In 2003, he set a school single-season record by recording 139 strikeouts. In 2004, he broke his own record and established a new Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) record with 151 strikeouts. Verlander completed his career as the all-time strikeout leader in Old Dominion, the CAA and the Commonwealth of Virginia (Division I) history with 427 in 335⅔ innings. During his three years, he averaged 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings and his career collegiate earned run average (ERA) was 2.57.
Verlander pitched for the USA national baseball team in 2003 and helped the USA to a silver medal in the Pan American Games. He was named CAA Rookie of the Year in 2002 and earned All-CAA honors in 2003 and 2004. Verlander was named the ODU Alumni Association's Male Athlete of the Year in 2004, and was the second overall pick in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft by the Detroit Tigers.
Minor leaguesVerlander's professional baseball career began when the Detroit Tigers selected him second overall in the 2004 MLB Draft. He signed a contract on October 25, 2004. Verlander made his professional debut in 2005. He played for two of Detroit's minor league affiliates, the Lakeland Flying Tigers (A+) and the Erie SeaWolves (AA), and also started two games for the Tigers in July. After posting a 9–2 record and a 1.67 ERA in 13 starts for Lakeland, Verlander joined the SeaWolves on June 20.
On July 4, 2005, Verlander started against the Cleveland Indians and pitched 5⅓ innings, gave up four runs and was charged with a loss. He also made a start against the Minnesota Twins 19 days later. Verlander lost both of his major league starts in 2005, but in seven starts with Erie, he was 2–0 and his ERA was 0.28. Tightness in his right shoulder caused Verlander's season to end in early August when he was placed on the disabled list. Verlander was recognized as a Florida State League all–star, was a starting pitcher in the Futures Game and, according to Baseball America, was Detroit's highest rated prospect.
Detroit Tigers2005–2008Verlander made his Major League debut on July 4, 2005. He went 0–2 with a 7.15 ERA in his only 2 starts of the season.Verlander and his teammates celebrate after the final out of his first no-hitter.In his first full Major League season, Verlander went 17–9 with a 3.63 ERA, striking out 124 batters in 186 innings. On July 4, 2006, at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California, Verlander, Joel Zumaya, and Fernando Rodney each threw multiple fastballs over 100 mph (160 km/h), becoming the first time in MLB history that three pitchers, on the same team, had done so during a game. He allowed one stolen base in 2006 and picked off seven baserunners. In 2006, he became the first rookie pitcher in the history of the game to win 10 games before the end of June and was named AL Rookie of the Year at the end of the season. During Game 1 of the 2006 World Series, Verlander was the Tigers starting pitcher against Anthony Reyes of the St. Louis Cardinals; it was the first instance in which two rookies faced off to start a World Series. The Tigers would lose the series to the Cardinals in five games.
His success continued in 2007, as he accumulated 18 wins and posted a 3.66 ERA with 183 strikeouts in 201⅔ innings. On June 12, Verlander recorded a no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out 12 and walking four while throwing a fastball 102 mph (164 km/h).Verlander pitching in 2008In 2008, Verlander lost four consecutive games before winning his first one. He led MLB in losses with 17. Overall, he finished the 2008 season with an 11–17 win–loss record and a 4.84 ERA.
2009–2010Verlander became the first Major League starter in 24 years to load the bases with nobody out in the ninth inning or later and get out of it without allowing a run when he pulled off the feat on July 24, 2009. Then-Mariners hurler Mike Moore was the last to do it, on September 16, 1985.
He finished the 2009 season with a 19–9 record, an ERA of 3.45 and an MLB-leading 269 strikeouts, the most by a Tiger since Mickey Lolich's 308 in 1971, while his 10.1/9 IP strikeout rate led all American League starters. His 19 wins led the majors this season. Verlander finished third in the AL Cy Young Award voting behind winner Zack Greinke and runner-up Félix Hernández.
In the offseason, Verlander and the Tigers reached a deal for a five-year, $80 million contract extension. On July 3, Verlander earned his 10th win of the season. This marked the fourth time in five years he has had double digit wins before the All-Star break. On September 18, Verlander beat the Chicago White Sox, throwing a complete game to earn his 17th win of the season. Verlander was the first pitcher to win 17 games in four of his first five seasons since Dwight Gooden. He finished the 2010 season with an 18–9 record and a 3.37 ERA, while fanning 219 batters in 224 1⁄3 innings.
2011On April 22, 2011, Verlander recorded his 1,000th career strikeout in a 9–3 win over the White Sox, becoming the 15th Tiger to do so. On May 7, he recorded his second career no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays, throwing four strikeouts, walking one batter and throwing at a maximum speed of 101 mph (163 km/h) on the radar gun. He carried a perfect game into the eighth inning before allowing a walk to J. P. Arencibia, who was the only Blue Jays batter to reach base in the game. Arencibia was erased on a double play, so Verlander faced the minimum 27 batters for the game. He became the second Tigers pitcher since Virgil Trucks, and the 30th pitcher in the history of baseball, to throw multiple no-hitters. On his next start, against the Kansas City Royals on May 13, Verlander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before surrendering a triple. Altogether, he pitched 15 2⁄3 consecutive no-hit innings, spread over three starts.
On June 14, Verlander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. He pitched 7 1⁄3 innings until he gave up a base hit to Cleveland's Orlando Cabrera. Verlander ended up with a complete game shutout allowing two hits. In his next start on June 19, he threw another complete game allowing only a solo home run to Ty Wigginton. On June 25, he recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts against Arizona. Verlander was selected to his fourth AL All-Star team, but he was unable to participate in the game due to the scheduling of his starts.
On July 31, Verlander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before surrendering a single to Maicer Izturis. He walked two and struck out nine. On August 11, Verlander won his 100th major league game against the Cleveland Indians. A victory on August 27 made Verlander the first Tiger since Bill Gullickson in 1991 to win 20 games, and the first Major League pitcher since Curt Schilling in 2002 to reach 20 wins before the end of August.Verlander in 2011By the end of the season, Verlander had won the Triple Crown of pitching in the AL, leading the league in wins (24), strikeouts (250; tied for sixth most in Tigers history) and ERA (2.40). Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw had clinched the National League (NL) Triple Crown earlier in the week, making it the first season since 1924 featuring a Triple Crown pitcher in both leagues. Verlander also led the AL in innings pitched (251) and win-loss percentage (.828; sixth-best in Tigers history), while posting a Major League best 0.92 WHIP. Throughout the season, he never had an outing in which he threw fewer than six innings or 2 pitches. Through 2011, Verlander had the best career strikeouts/9 innings percentage in Tigers history (8.3), and the second-best career win–loss percentage (.652; also the fourth-best percentage of all active pitchers).
In 2011, Verlander received the AL Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award, Sporting News Player of the Year Award, a Players Choice Award for Player the Year and Most Outstanding American League pitcher, and a USA Today American League Cy Young. Verlander was named the cover athlete of Major League Baseball 2K12.
Verlander won both the 2011 AL Cy Young Award and the AL MVP Award. He was the first pitcher to claim an AL MVP Award since Dennis Eckersley in 1992, the first starting pitcher to do so since Roger Clemens in 1986, and the third Tiger starter to do so in franchise history, joining Denny McLain (1968) and Hal Newhouser (1944, 1945). Verlander unanimously won the 2011 AL Cy Young Award, but won the AL MVP in a much closer vote. Verlander edged out Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, 280 points to 242 points, while collecting 13 of 28 first-place votes. He became the second pitcher in baseball history after Don Newcombe to win the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP awards in his career.
2012On May 18, Verlander took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates before giving up a one-out single in a 6–0 victory. It was his first career complete game one-hitter, his 16th complete game overall, and sixth career shutout. Verlander, who struck out 12 in the game, was hitting the upper-90s and 100 mph (160 km/h) into the eighth inning.
Verlander was named to the American League team roster and AL starting pitcher in the All-Star Game. Verlander was joined by teammates Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera, the former voted as a starter. At the All-Star break, Verlander had a 9–5 record and a 2.58 ERA in 18 games, and was leading the AL in innings pitched (132⅔), strikeouts (128) and complete games (five). In a forgettable All-Star game, he pitched one inning and gave up five runs. Verlander finished the 2012 regular season with a 17–8 record. He ranked first in the American League in innings pitched ( 238 1⁄3), strikeouts (239) and complete games (six), while also ranking second in ERA (2.64).
In the 2012 ALDS against the Oakland Athletics, Verlander started Game 1 and won a 3–1 decision. In the deciding fifth game of the series, he pitched a complete-game shutout allowing four hits as the Tigers won 6–0 and advanced to the 2012 ALCS. The victory marked the first time in MLB history that a pitcher recorded more than 10 strikeouts in a winner-take-all postseason shutout. Verlander's 22 strikeouts in the series set a record for an ALDS.
Verlander made his only appearance in the 2012 ALCS in Game 3 against the New York Yankees. He earned a 2–1 win, blanking the Yankees hitters on two hits through eight innings (running his 2012 postseason scoreless streak to 24 innings) before surrendering a leadoff home run in the ninth inning to Eduardo Núñez.
He pitched Game 1 of the 2012 World Series against the San Francisco Giants and gave up five earned runs in four innings pitched, including giving up two home runs to eventual World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval as the Tigers were swept in the Series.
Verlander finished second to David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays in a close AL Cy Young Award race. Verlander collected 149 points (12 first-place votes) to Price's 153 points (13 first-place votes). Verlander won (tie with David Price) his second consecutive AL Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award.
2013Prior to the 2013 season, Verlander and the Tigers reached an agreement on a seven-year, $180 million contract, with a $22 million vesting option for 2020 if he finishes in the top five in Cy Young Award voting in 2019. This contract made him the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history.
Verlander made his sixth-consecutive Opening Day start for the Tigers against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis and won 4–2. In a May 11 game against the Cleveland Indians, Verlander recorded his 1,500th career strikeout.
Verlander was selected as a reserve pitcher for the American League All-Star team by his manager, Jim Leyland, who managed the 2013 AL team. It was Verlander's sixth All-Star selection, but due to him starting a game on July 14 for the Tigers, he was declared unavailable for the July 16 All-Star game. Entering the All-Star break, Verlander had a 10–6 record, 125 strikeouts and a 3.50 ERA.
Verlander finished the 2013 regular season with a 13–12 record, a 3.46 ERA, and 217 strikeouts. His 218 1⁄3 innings pitched were the lowest total since his 2008 season.
In Game 2 of the 2013 ALDS, Verlander struck out 11 Oakland Athletics hitters in seven shutout innings. Verlander did not get the win as the Tigers lost the game, 1–0, in the bottom of the ninth inning. In Game 5 of the same series, Verlander pitched eight shutout innings with 10 strikeouts in a 3–0 victory, taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning. The win sent the Tigers to the American League Championship Series for the third consecutive year. Verlander defeated the Athletics in Game 5 of the ALDS for the second straight season and is one of four starting pitchers in Major League history to have multiple wins in elimination postseason games, joining Bob Gibson, Chris Carpenter and Matt Cain.
Verlander has thrown 30 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason against the Athletics, a major league record for a pitcher versus one team, surpassing Christy Mathewson's 28 scoreless innings against the Philadelphia Athletics from 1905–11. Verlander is the second pitcher in Major League history with 10 or more strikeouts and zero runs allowed in back-to-back postseason games, joining Sandy Koufax in Games 5 and 7 of the 1965 World Series.
In Game 3 of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox, Verlander threw 6 1⁄3 scoreless innings (running his 2013 postseason scoreless streak to 21 1⁄3 innings) before surrendering a solo home run to Mike Napoli in the seventh. Despite giving up only that one run and striking out ten batters in eight innings, Verlander lost a 1–0 decision. It was Verlander's sixth career postseason game with 10 or more strikeouts, more than any other pitcher in MLB postseason history.
The eventual World Series champ Red Sox eliminated the Tigers in six ALCS games. In the 2013 postseason, Verlander was 1–1 with a 0.39 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 23 postseason innings. The Tiger offense was shut out in two of his three starts.
2014On January 9, 2014, Verlander underwent core muscle surgery. The Tigers projected that Verlander might miss Opening Day in the aftermath of his surgery but he eventually recovered just in time for when pitchers and catchers reported to training camp in February, 2014. On March 16, Tiger manager Brad Ausmus announced that Verlander would make his seventh consecutive opening-day start on March 31. On April 12, Verlander got the first two hits of his major league career during a 6–2 road win over the San Diego Padres. This snapped a career 0-for-26 string.
Verlander struggled in the first half of 2014. His strikeouts were down to 6.8 per nine innings pitched, opposed to an average of 9.2 over the last five years. His ERA and WHIP in the season's first half were also elevated to 4.71 and 1.49 respectively. Verlander was not named to the AL All-Star team for the first time since 2008, snapping a streak of five straight appearances.
On August 11, in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Verlander allowed five runs, four earned, on four hits in only one inning. Verlander left the game with right shoulder soreness, in his shortest outing of his career. His previous shortest outing was 1 1⁄3 innings in 2008. Verlander would miss his next start, the first time that had occurred in his career.
Justin fared somewhat better in the second half of 2014. His season ERA and WHIP dropped to 4.54 and 1.398, respectively. He won his final three decisions to finish with a 15–12 record, and the Tigers won the game in 6 of his last 8 starts. Justin's strikeout rate remained low, however, as he finished with 159 strikeouts and a 6.9 K/9 IP rate, both the lowest since his 2006 rookie season.
2015Verlander started the 2015 season on the disabled list due to a right triceps strain, ending his streak of seven consecutive Opening Day starts for the Tigers. This marks the first time Verlander has been placed on the DL in his career, following 298 career starts and 1,978 innings pitched. Verlander has thrown more pitches than any other pitcher since his rookie season in 2006, with 32,535 pitches in the regular season, and 1,688 pitches in the postseason.
On May 31, Verlander was sent to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens for a rehab assignment. It was his first time ever pitching for the Mud Hens, having gone straight from Double-A to the major leagues in 2005. He threw 79 pitches, 50 for strikes, allowing six hits and two walks in 2 2⁄3 innings. He fared better in his second rehab start on June 6, lasting 5 2⁄3 innings and throwing 93 pitches (69 for strikes). He gave up just one unearned run on four hits and no walks while striking out nine batters. Verlander made his season debut with the Tigers on June 13 against the Cleveland Indians. He pitched five innings, giving up two runs on three hits and two walks, while striking out two. He left the game with a 3–2 lead, but got a no-decision as the Indians came back against the Tiger bullpen to win the game. In his next start on June 19, Verlander gave up Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th career hit, a home run.
On August 26, Verlander came within three outs of his third career no-hitter before allowing a double to Chris Iannetta, the first batter in the ninth inning. He finished the game with one hit, two walks, and nine strikeouts in a 5–0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This was his seventh career complete game shutout, and second career complete game one-hitter. Verlander finished 2015 with a 5–8 record in 20 starts, but his other stats were a considerable improvement over the previous season. He had a 3.38 ERA and 1.088 WHIP. His walk rate dropped to 2.2, while his strikeout rate inched back up to 7.6.
Verlander at Camden Yards in Baltimore in 2016On May 8, Verlander recorded his 1,981st strikeout in his Tiger career, surpassing Jack Morris for second place on the list of all-time Tiger strikeout leaders. He only trails Mickey Lolich, who had 2,679 strikeouts as a Tiger. On May 18, Verlander fanned Eddie Rosario of the Twins for his 2,000th career strikeout, becoming just the second Tigers pitcher to reach the milestone, following Lolich. Verlander went into the 2016 All-Star break with an 8–6 record, 4.07 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 120 strikeouts in 117 1⁄3 innings (9.2 K/9).
Verlander was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for July. Verlander was 4–0 with a 1.69 ERA in six July starts, holding opposing hitters a .171 average and striking out 48 batters in 42 2⁄3 innings. Among qualifying starters in the AL (minimum 28.0 innings pitched), Verlander finished July first in strikeouts, tied for first in innings pitched, third in ERA and tied for third in wins. Verlander allowed just 26 hits in his 42 2⁄3 July innings, and had a 0.891 WHIP. On September 27, Verlander struck out 12 Cleveland Indians batters to give him a career-high eight games this season in which he totaled 10 or more strikeouts. Verlander was among the best starters in the majors after the 2016 All-Star Break. From July 15 on, Justin compiled an 8–3 record, 1.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and 134 strikeouts in 110 1⁄3 innings. In his three losses, the Tigers scored a total of two runs.
Verlander finished the 2016 season with a 16–9 record, while recording 254 strikeouts to lead the American League for the fourth time in his career. He also finished first in the AL with a 1.00 WHIP, and his 3.04 ERA ranked second. His strikeout rate of 10.0 per 9 IP was the second best of his career, trailing only the 10.1/9 rate posted in 2009. His 4.46 strikeout-to-walk ratio was a career best and a Tiger record for a season, eclipsing the 4.44 mark set by Denny McLain in 1968. Verlander joined Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens as the only three American League pitchers in history to strike out 250 or more batters in a season after turning 33 years old. Verlander's 26 quality starts were tied for the AL lead (with former Tiger Rick Porcello). Following the season, Verlander was named a Gold Glove Award finalist at pitcher, along with R.A. Dickey and Dallas Keuchel. Verlander's five Defensive Runs Saved tied him for fourth among AL pitchers, as did his 29 assists. His 6.61 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) led all AL pitchers. Verlander won his third Tiger of the Year award, as awarded by the Detroit Chapter of the BBWAA.
Following the season, Verlander was announced by the BBWAA as a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award, along with Corey Kluber and former teammate Rick Porcello. Verlander finished second in Cy Young voting, losing to Porcello by five points, 132–137, in what was the second-closest vote in history (to the 2012 AL Cy Young race Verlander lost). Verlander received 14 first-place votes, to Porcello's eight first-place votes, but Verlander was left off two ballots. It marked the third time in history and first in the AL that a pitcher won the Cy Young Award without receiving the most first-place votes. The outcome of the vote inspired Verlander's longtime girlfriend, actress and model Kate Upton, to tweet "Hey @MLB I thought I was the only person allowed to fuc Justin Verlander?!"
2017In a win over the Chicago White Sox on April 4, Verlander tied a franchise record for the most strikeouts on Opening Day with ten, becoming the first Tigers player to do so since Mickey Lolich in 1970. In his 51st plate appearance in interleague play, Verlander recorded his first career RBI in an August 30 game against the Colorado Rockies, which was also his last game as a Tiger.
Houston AstrosSeconds before the waiver trade deadline on August 31, 2017, the Tigers sent Verlander to the Houston Astros for prospects Franklin Pérez, Jake Rogers, and Daz Cameron. Verlander won his Astros debut on September 5 against the Seattle Mariners, giving up one run and striking out seven over six innings. He started and won the AL West division-clinching game for the Astros on September 17, allowing one run and striking out ten Mariners batters over seven innings. He won all five of his regular season starts with Houston, posting a 1.06 ERA and 0.65 WHIP in those games. The Astros chose to skip Verlander's final scheduled start on Sunday, October 1, and have him start the first game of the ALDS. Thus, Verlander finished the 2017 regular season with a 15–8 record, 3.36 ERA, 1.175 WHIP, and 219 strikeouts in 206 innings.
After a couple of injury-riddled seasons, many believed Verlander had lost the fastball velocity most fans had grown accustomed to. However, the velocity soared back up to an average of 95.3 in his 2017 campaign, four miles per hour faster than his average in 2014 (91.2), and three MPH faster than his average in 2015 (92.3). He also hit triple digits on the radar gun in 2017 for the first time since his 2013 campaign.
2017 postseasonVerlander won two games in the Astros' 3-games-to-1 ALDS triumph over the Boston Red Sox. He started and won Game 1, and picked up the second win with 2 2⁄3 innings of relief in the clinching Game 4. On October 14, he started Game 2 of the ALCS versus the Yankees, throwing a 13-strikeout, 2–1 complete game victory. The Astros won the game on a ninth-inning walk-off double by Carlos Correa that drove home José Altuve. Facing elimination in Game 6 of the ALCS, Verlander pitched seven shutout innings in a 7−1 victory over the Yankees. The Astros also defeated the Yankees in Game 7, allowing them to advance to the World Series for the second time in franchise history. During the ALCS, he went 2−0, with a 0.56 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched. Following his outstanding performance, he was named the ALCS MVP.
Verlander received a no-decision in Game 2 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his third career World Series. He allowed only two hits in six innings, but both hits were home runs, and he left the game with the Astros trailing 3–1. The Astros eventually won the game 7–6 in 11 innings. With a chance to clinch the series in Game 6, Verlander gave up three hits and two runs while striking out nine batters in six innings, but was tagged with the loss in a 3–1 final. It was the first time in his career that Verlander failed to win a series-clinching game in the postseason, having gone 3–0 in his three previous chances. It was also his first loss as a member of the Astros. The Astros defeated the Dodgers the next night in Game 7, giving Verlander his first World Series championship.
For the 2017 postseason, Verlander made six appearances and five starts, being credited with a 4–1 record, and gaining a 2.21 ERA, .177 batting average against, eight walks, and 38 strikeouts in 36 2⁄3 innings. He was also named winner of the Babe Ruth Award as co-MVP of the 2017 postseason with second baseman José Altuve.
Pitching styleVerlander throws four pitches: a hard four-seam fastball averaging mid-90s mph (topping out at 102 mph in his career), a slider in the mid to high 80s, a 12-6 curveball around 80, and a changeup at 85–88 mph. His four-seam fastball has a "tail" to it that cuts inside to righties and away from lefties. He often uses his four-seam fastball up in the zone to hitters. This has allowed him to strike out more batters with that pitch than any others. His slider has evolved throughout his career. In his early years, his slider was mid 80's with a larger break. However, in recent years, Verlander has added velocity to his slider. This change has caused a later, sharper break that has led many to believe it is actually a cut fastball, although Verlander has denied this on various occasions. In 2017, Verlander began to incorporate both sliders. He usually uses the slower, longer slider inside to lefties, and the sharper, faster slider down and away to righties. His 12-6 curveball has always been a dominant pitch that buckles hitters knees at any point in the count. He also tends to intentionally use this pitch up in the zone at times to freeze hitters or throw off their timing. His changeup is mostly used against left handers, but its effectiveness has tailed off in recent years, causing him to use it less frequently.
Verlander is known for his unusual ability to "add" and "subtract" from his fastball velocity at any point in the game, giving him the ability to throw it in the upper 90s even in the late innings of games. This is despite the fact that he has thrown the most pitches in the major leagues since the beginning of the 2008 season. Verlander's average fastball velocity with no strikes is 94.7 mph, while with two strikes it is 97.0 mph. His power pitching frequently leads to high strikeout totals. He is a four-time American League strikeout champion, leading all of major league baseball in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons. He has fanned over 2,400 batters in his career.
Charity workIn 2016, Verlander started the "Wins For Warriors Foundation" for veterans of the United States military. To date, Verlander has donated over 2 million dollars to this cause. Verlander has also supported various local Detroit charities for the impoverished as well as helping out with national efforts such as the Red Cross.
Personal lifeVerlander grew up in Manakin-Sabot, Virginia, with his parents, Richard and Kathy Verlander, and a younger brother, Ben Verlander. His life experiences and the story of his development are outlined in his parents' 2012 book, Rocks Across the Pond: Lessons Learned, Stories Told. His younger brother, Ben, played for the Tigers organization as an outfielder. Ben was released on June 23, 2017.
Verlander started dating model-actress Kate Upton in late 2011, and in 2016 the couple got engaged. In the 2014 iCloud leaks of celebrity photos, many of Verlander's personal pictures, which included nude pictures of both himself and Upton, as well as other women, were leaked online. On November 4, 2017, two days after he won the World Series with the Astros, the two married in a medieval church in Tuscany, Italy, overlooking the Montalcino valley.
During the off-season, Verlander lives in Lakeland, Florida, which is also home to the Tigers' spring training facility. The Astros' spring training facility is located in West Palm Beach.