According to Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann, Justin Verlander had some of his best stuff on Saturday against the Cleveland Indians. Yet the former Cy Young winner was tagged for what ended up being a career-high nine earned runs as the Indians shellacked the Tigers 13-6.
On Sunday, McCann talked about what he observed from behind the plate, emphasizing how Verlander’s “stuff” was on point.
“Yesterday he had some of his best stuff he’s had all year and sure didn’t look like it the way they were taking their swings,” McCann said. “He’s had his best slider he’s had all year. His curveball was good. His fastball – shoot some of the fastballs they hit for home runs were 96 miles an hour up in the zone and in. It’s not easy to pull it the way they were pulling it.
“I guess the numbers speak for themselves.”
On Monday, Verlander posted a hilarious tweet poking fun at the idea of him tipping pitches.
— Justin Verlander (@JustinVerlander) April 17, 2017
Despite the hilarious tweet, you can be sure the Tigers ace is taking the possibility that he is tipping pitches very serious.
McCann also noted that if the Indians players were stealing signs during Saturday’s game, it was the fault of the Tigers.
“It’s on us,” McCann said. “There are all sorts of nuances of the game. There’s unwritten rules of baseball and all sorts of stuff like that. Whether a pitcher is tipping his pitches, or he’s showing a runner at second base out of his hand and he’s relaying it to the hitter – it’s nobody’s fault but the person who’s giving it away.”
Heading into Sunday’s game, Verlander had been great for the Tigers in his first two starts of the season. Now, after giving up nine earned runs to the Indians, his ERA sits at 5.71. He will have a chance to improve on that mark on Friday when the Tigers travel to Minnesota to take on the Twins.
H/T to George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press and Chris McCosky of The Detroit News for the quotes included in this piece.