||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
Verlander in 2013
|Detroit Tigers – No. 35|
February 20, 1983 |
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|July 4, 2005 for the Detroit Tigers|
(through April 17, 2014)
|Earned run average||3.39|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Competitor for United States|
|Pan American Games|
|Silver||Santo Domingo 2003||Baseball at the 2003 Pan American Games|
In 2006, Verlander was named the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year. On June 12, 2007, he pitched a no-hitter—the first ever at Comerica Park—against the Milwaukee Brewers, striking out 12 batters and walking four. He pitched a second no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 7, 2011, in Toronto, walking one and facing the minimum 27 batters. On November 15, 2011, Verlander was named the 2011 AL Cy Young Award winner by a unanimous vote, becoming the first American League pitcher since Johan Santana in 2006 to win the award in such a fashion. On November 21, 2011, Verlander was voted the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP), winning with 280 points over Jacoby Ellsbury's 242, completing a sweep of the Cy Young Award and MVP. David Waldstein of The New York Times has stated that Verlander is "indeed one of the best pitchers of his generation".
Verlander'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.
Verlander'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 credited 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 Tigers (2005–present)
Verlander 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.
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.
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 while throwing a fastball 102 mph (164 km/h).
In 2008, Verlander lost four consecutive games before winning his first one. He led the MLB in losses with 17. Overall, he finished the 2008 season with an 11–17 win–loss record and a 4.84 ERA.
In 2009, Verlander finished 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. 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 3.37 ERA.
On April 22, 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. Verlander 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 15⅔ consecutive no-hit innings, spread over three starts.
On June 14, Verlander took a no-hitter into the eighth inning. He pitched 7⅓ 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 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. On August 27, he became the first pitcher in the Major Leagues to reach 20 wins for the season. The victory also 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.
By 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 pitcher Clayton Kershaw clinched the NL Triple Crown earlier in the week, making it the first since 1924 that a season featured 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). Throughout the season, he never had an outing in which he threw fewer than six innings or 100 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, The 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 and Hal Newhouser. 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.
On 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). 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.
Verlander had 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 The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award.
Prior to the 2013 season, Verlander and the Tigers reached 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 2181⁄3 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 one run and striking out ten batters in eight innings, Verlander lost a 1–0 decision.
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 innings. The Tiger offense was shut out in two of his three starts.
On 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 said that Justin will make his seventh consecutive opening-day start on March 31. On April 12, Verlander got the first two major league hits of his career during a 6-2 road win over the San Diego Padres.
Verlander started dating model Kate Upton in the Fall of 2011. Despite 2013 rumors that the two were no longer seeing each other, they were spotted sitting together at a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game in 2014. Justin's younger brother, Ben, also plays for the Tigers organization as an outfielder. They played one game together during Spring Training.
Verlander throws four above average pitches: a hard four-seam fastball averaging about 95 mph, a slider in the low-to-mid 80s, a curveball at 78–81, and a circle changeup at 85–88 mph. Verlander tends to throw his slider only to right-handed hitters and his changeup only to left-handed hitters. He frequently uses his devastating 12–6 curveball with two strikes on the hitter.
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 100 mph or higher 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. In 2009, 2011 and 2012, he led the majors in strikeouts.
Awards and accolades
- 2006 American League Rookie of the Year
- 2006 MLB Players Choice AL Outstanding Rookie
- 2006 Tigers Rookie of the Year award from the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association.
- American League Rookie of the Month (May 2006)
- American League Pitcher of the Month (May 2009, June 2011, September 2012)
- American League Player of the Week (May 22–28, 2006; June 11–17, 2007; May 2–8, 2011; June 13–19, 2011; September 12–18, 2011)
- 7th in 2006 American League Cy Young Award voting (the highest of any rookie pitcher)
- 5th in 2007 American League Cy Young Award voting
- 15th in 2006 American League MVP voting (the highest of any rookie and second highest of any pitcher – Johan Santana was 7th)
- Named to 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 American League All-Star Teams
- Became first Tigers pitcher since Denny McLain in 1968 (31–6, .838) to lead the American League in winning percentage and qualify for an ERA title (18–6, .750) in 2007. He did it again in 2011 (24-5, .828).
- Only pitcher in Major League history to win Rookie of the Year, start in a World Series game, throw a no-hitter, and be an All-Star in his first two seasons.
- 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 July 24, 2009. Then-Mariners hurler Mike Moore was the last to do it, on September 16, 1985.
- 2009 Tiger of the Year.
- 3rd in 2009 American League Cy Young Award voting
- One of only two players to win the Rookie of the Year Award, Cy Young Award, and the MVP Award; the other is Don Newcombe
- Won AL pitching Triple Crown in 2011
- 2011 AL Cy Young Award (unanimous choice)
- 2011 MLB Players Choice AL Outstanding Pitcher
- 2011 AL MVP
- 2011 MLB Players Choice Player of the Year
- Major League Baseball 2K12 cover athlete
- List of Major League Baseball strikeout champions
- List of Major League Baseball wins champions
- List of Major League Baseball no-hitters
- 2013 Tigers Information Guide. 2013. pp. 211–222.
- Verlander makes history in Detroit MLB.com June 12, 2007
- Detroit Tigers' Jason Verlander tosses second career no-hitter in win over Blue Jays MLive.com May 7, 2011
- "Verlander wins AL MVP". Retrieved November 21, 2011.
- Verlander is Imposing but Not Perfect nytimes.com October 15, 2012
- Verlander makes his pitch Yahoo!, August 16, 2006.
- "Rookies Verlander, Reyes get Game 1 starts". Associated Press. ESPN.com. October 21, 2006. Retrieved April 9, 2013.
- Major League Leader board 2009: Pitchers FanGraph.com
- Beck, Jason (February 4, 2010). "Tigers announce Verlander deal". MLB.com. Retrieved February 4, 2010.
- Sizemore's shot backs Verlander in Chicago MLB.com September 18, 2010
- Verlander notches 1,000th K in Tigers' win MLB.com April 22, 2011
- Tigers' Justin Verlander takes no-hitter into sixth inning of 3–1 victory over Royals MLive.com May 13, 2011
- Hang 10: Dominant Verlander drives Detroit – Ace fans career-high 14 D-backs, pulls Tigers into first-place tie MLB.com June 26, 2011
- "wire reports, August 27, 2011". Cbssports.com. August 27, 2011. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
- "Detroit Tigers Top 10 Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 15, 2011.
- "Justin Verlander Statistics and History". stickskills.com. Retrieved November 3, 2011.
- "Detroit Tigers Top 10 Pitching Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
- "Verlander named the 2012 cover athlete". Retrieved October 7, 2011.
- "Justin Verlander Wins AL Cy Young". MLBTradeRumors. November 15, 2011. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
- Snyder, Matt. "Justin Verlander wins AL MVP." cbssports.com. November 21, 2011.
- "Verlander nearly throws 3rd no-hitter for Tigers". SI.com. Associated Press. May 18, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012.
- Meisel, Zach (July 10, 2012). "Verlander, Cain to be All-Star Game starters". MLB.com.
- Sanchez, Jesse (July 1, 2012). "Rosters unveiled for 83rd All-Star Game". Mlb.com (Major League Baseball Advanced Media). Retrieved July 2, 2012.
- AL Strikeout Leaders at cbssports.com
- Kepner, Tyler (October 13, 2012). "A Stamp on a Set of Division Series to Write Home About". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2012.
- Tigers-A's ALDS Game 5 Summary at www.cbssports.com
- Perry, Dayn. "David Price wins 2012 American League Cy Young Award." cbssports.com on November 14, 2012. 
- "Justin Verlander of Detroit Tigers agrees to deal which could be worth $202 million, sources - ESPN". Espn.go.com. March 29, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Tigers hold off Twins for Opening Day victory MLB.com, April 1, 2013
- Verlander struggles, Indians hold off Tigers' late rally cbssports.com on May 11, 2013.
- Verlander loses no-no, exits with tight quad; Tigers roll cbssports.com on July 14, 2013.
- "Verlander sends Tigers past A's in Game 5 gem". CBS Sports.com. October 10, 2013. Retrieved October 11, 2013.
- Did you know? ALDS Game 5: DET 3, OAK 0 MLB.com on October 11, 2013.
- "Opening Day Start Offers Justin Verlander a Major Chance at Personal Redemption".
- Justin Verlander to get opening day nod for Tigers Snyder, Matt at cbssports.com on 17 March 2014.
- "Kate Upton, Justin Verlander spotted together at NHL game". msn.foxsports.com. January 13, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2014.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Justin Verlander". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Lemire, Joe (May 2, 2012). "Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander defies conventional wisdom - Joe Lemire - SI.com". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- "Justin Verlander Statistics and History - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
- Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers agree to five-year, $80 million contract ESPN.com February 4, 2010
- Porcello ready for rush of national stage MLB.com July 25, 2009
- Verlander unanimous Tiger of the Year – Ace first Detroit pitcher to win award since Sparks in 2001 MLB.com November 12, 2009
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- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|Awards and achievements|
|Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year
|Baseball America Rookie of the Year
|Players Choice AL Most Outstanding Rookie
June 12, 2007
May 7, 2011
|American League Winning Percentage Champion
|American League Pitcher of the Month