Justin Verlander’s future Hall of Fame plaque likely won’t mention his World Series performance.
After blowing a five-run lead by allowing five runs over five innings in the Astros’ Game 1 loss to the Phillies, Verlander has a career World Series ERA of 6.07. It’s the worst in MLB history for pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched. Others sharing Verlander’s company are Carl Eskine (5.83), Don Sutton (5.26), Gary Nolan (4.96) and Al Leiter (4.59), according to MLB.com.
Yankees fans are going to find this treat especially hard to believe given that Verlander is their personal October tormentor. He is 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA against the Yankees as he pitches for the Tigers and Astros in six different American League Divisional or Championship Series.
In fact, all of MLB should find Verlander’s struggles on the big stage shocking considering he’s likely to win his third career Cy Young Award after the season. And Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw’s playoff flops are chronic to the point of nausea compared to Verlander’s.
Verlander, 39, is now 0-6 in eight starts for just 43 innings in the Fall Classic. He’s even worse in the series opener, with a 10.29 ERA (16 earned runs in 14 innings pitched) in Game 1.
It looked like Verlander was poised to rewrite history on Friday when he retired the first 10 batters he faced and held a 5-0 lead in the third inning. Sure enough, however, the Phillies hit for three runs with two outs in the third, tied the game in the fifth, and won the game, 6-5, against the Astros bullpen in the 10th inning.
“I have to do better. No excuses,” Verlander said of his last stinking Game 1.
He was not asked about his repeated failures or his World Series legacy.
New York Post