Tigers ace Justin Verlander wasn't dominant Monday. But he looked something like himself, striking out 13 Pittsburgh Pirates to come within one of his career high.
Turns out the 2011 American League MVP didn't forget how to pitch during his three consecutive clunkers.
"It's not like I was going out there to shove it, to show the rest of the world, 'Hey, I'm still me,'" Verlander said after Detroit's 6-5 win over Pittsburgh. "It was gratifying for me to continue to trend in the right direction. That's the only thing I was concerned with. I can't expect next time out to be perfect. I'm still a little bit off."
The quality start -- seven innings, three earned runs -- was Verlander's first since May 5. Now he has a 3.68 ERA, which would be the second-highest of his career over a full season.
And yet he's doing well in comparison to many Cy Young Award candidates from last year.
... Of the 18 pitchers to ...