DETROIT -- Justin Verlander knows whats wrong with Justin Verlander.
Tinkering, he told me, is what I would call it.
Of course. Tinkering.
In his last three starts, Verlander has allowed 16 earned runs over 12-23 innings. Fans, scouts and opposing hitters would choose a different participle: Struggling. But Verlander didnt use that S-word once during a 15-minute conversation Friday an indication the bizarre May has done little to change his swashbuckling psyche.
Verlander has been the American Leagues best starter over the last four-plus seasons. He has the MVP and Cy Young hardware. So great is his talent and swagger that, when on the mound, Verlander regards baserunners as flukes. Hits and walks are against the natural order.
Lately, those offensive accidents have become more numerous. He has a 7.32 ERA in four starts this month.
For this, Verlander offers an explanation I dont suspect youd hear from other pitchers: At the end of April, he was 3-2 with a 1.83 ERA. And he de...