Justin Verlander has to be a robot. I'm convinced at this point. Look, I didn't think it was out of the realm of possibility that Justin Verlander would come back from Tommy John surgery and pitch good baseball. But isn't there supposed to be some process? A 39-year-old coming off of an arm blowout shouldn't be able to be this good this quickly, should he? For people who may not have seen it, Justin Verlander shut down a solid Mariners lineup over eight scoreless innings in his 2nd start in over a year and a half. His fastball was consistently in the mid to upper 90s. It was a prime example of Justin Verlander doing Justin Verlander things. He's now pitched 13 innings in this young season, and he's only given up a single run. This man has now officially clocked over 3,000 innings (not including postseason) and yet continues not to miss a beat. It's simply baffling.
In the blog I wrote last week, I said that I hope Justin Verlander never retires. While this is true, I know the day will come when he inevitably walks away from baseball. Based on what I've seen, it appears that won't happen for a while, considering that a man whose career began 3 Presidents ago somehow has better stuff than most pitchers half his age. But I know it will happen someday. In the meantime, I truly hope that every young pitcher in the game models himself after Justin Verlander. Despite his ridiculous stuff, JV learned at a young age how to be a pitcher. He's not making the maximum effort with every pitch and is tiring himself out by the 4th inning. He's a true workhorse who gets better as the game goes along. No one has ever known their stuff better than Verlander has. He's one of the last of a dying breed, and his greatness should be cherished, regardless of how the rest of his season goes. Even if he fails to put together a better start than he did tonight, the fact that his stuff is still this good is simply mind-boggling.
I've seen a lot of Detroit Tigers fans on social media who continue to be upset that the Tigers didn't make a stronger push to reunite with Verlander the last offseason. And while hindsight is always 20/20, I can't get on the Tigers for not being more aggressive in their pursuit of JV. Nine times out of a hundred, offering a 39-year-old pitcher fresh off of Tommy John 25+ million a year over two years would be entirely illogical. But then again, Justin Verlander has defied all logic his whole career. We Tiger fans can do nothing but appreciate the greatness and pray that one day he finds his way back into a Tiger uniform.