Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 3/21/13
LAKELAND, Fla. Justin Verlander knew it was coming and his former teammate didn't disappoint. In Thursday night's 7-2 exhibition loss to the Houston Astros at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Verlander was cruising along until the fourth inning. Jose Altuve led off with a single. Then Brandon Laird followed with a home run to right field and the Astros led, 2-1. If the name of the home-run hitter sounds familiar, it should. Laird is the younger brother of Gerald Laird, the former Tigers catcher who is now playing for the Atlanta Braves. Verlander, who allowed four runs on six hits (three of them home runs) while striking out five in 5 23 innings, returned to the clubhouse after his outing and checked his cell phone. Sure enough, there was a text message from Gerald waiting for him. "Once he hit it, I was like, 'Oh, God, I'm never going to hear the end of this,'" Verlander said. Verlander said he had not yet composed a response but planned to do so later. While rookie Bruce Rondon has already demonstrated his triple-digit fastball, the veteran Verlander won't do so until the regular season when he really needs it. "It's hard to get yourself amped up for these games," Verlander said. "Really, the adrenaline's not there." With one start left in spring training, Verlander said he still has a few things he's working on. "I made an adjustment a start ago where I stand on my back leg longer and try to drive down the mound and it changed my timing," Verlander said. "My release time and landing time. So, I had a difficult time with my fastball. Last time, I was keeping it straight and down and I felt like (Thursday) it was better than last time. Just from one five-day span throwing like that normally. So, next time out, it should be better." Verlander said he made the adjustment because he felt he was standing a little too tall on the mound. "I know what Im supposed to feel like and I just felt like I wasnt using my legs as much as I shouldve," Verlander said. "Since Ive made that adjustment, its been easier to throw those low 90s pitches. Thats where Im usually at and its pretty easy for me to hit my spots and thats where I feel like I was at the first few innings." After Laird's home run, Verlander allowed back-to-back home runs to Carlos Corporan and Matt Dominguez leading off the fifth inning. "I asked Torii (Hunter) about it and he said he didn't think either one of them (would be homers) in a regular-season game," Verlander said. "The ball flies out of here when the wind's blowing out to right. Remember that game a couple years ago when we hit like, seven or eight home runs in one game? I'm not comparing today to that but the ball was definitely carrying." Manager Jim Leyland was not concerned about Verlander allowing three home runs. "Verlander got a couple balls up," Leyland said. "One was a hanging slider, one was a fastball out over the plate, one guy golfed one. He threw the ball fine." Verlander will make his final start of the spring next Wednesday in a home game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Browns GM Dorsey rips team’s previous personnel regime

Report: MLB investigating source of Shohei Ohtani medical info leak

Jones cites 'problematic aspects' to NFL disciplinary process

Le’Veon Bell on playing Patriots: Opportunity is here

Alex Collins wears dark visor to keep migraine headaches at bay

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

LeBron James skips media before Lakers game to avoid ‘dealing with the silliness’

Ron Rivera: Everyone knew Aaron Rodgers would be back

Alvin Kamara expected to play vs. Jets

Paul George after beating Pacers: Glad circus is over

Goodell plans to step down as commissioner at end of new deal

UCLA offering free tickets to California firefighters

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

Matt Barnes and the looming end of the NBA's enforcers

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

The naughty and nice athletes list for 2017

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

NFL puts safety entirely on players, again

Most important player on every team in each bowl matchup

NFL Week 15 Predictions

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Boogie, Z-Bo reach out and punch someone

The 'Is there anything Brown can't do for you?' quiz

Newcomers help Predators get back to 'Smashville' hockey

How Buddy Hield became the NBA's newest sniper

NFL MVP Watch: Antonio Brown enters suddenly wide-open race

The 'To the Victor, go the spoils' quiz

25 players to watch in the pre-Christmas bowls

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker