Denny Mclain: Justin Verlander Should Demand to Pitch on Sunday

Hey folks, what the hell is going on? We are in a division race and our Ace, Justin Verlander, is not pitching on his regular turn! What is wrong with this picture? Who is making this decision?

I would bet (and I have been known to wager once in a while) that Verlander has asked to be moved back a day because he is tired. You may not have noticed but he has been “leaking” lately. In other words, he’s not as sharp as he has been and it may be that he is tired.

Let’s keep one thing in mind: not many pitchers thrown into the 7th, 8th and sometimes 9th innings every game and that is what Justin has been doing. He’s throwing many more pitches and innings than ever before because, in the past, he usually he comes up with a minor pain or suspected injury and takes a week or two off and catches his breath. But come on, this is IT — And “IT” is what it’s all about!

A staff ace can’t get tired down the stretch!

My God, man, this is the drive; this is what we try to be involved when we put that Major League Uniform on; it is the competition of the race; it’s about our fans who have been paying serious money these past years for crappy talent; it is about competition and the goal of winning a championship that rests in front of all of us.

How the hell can anyone be tired in the middle of the best race we have seen in a long time around here. This town is giving almost as much media time to the Lions as the Tigers and they have not been .500 in about 500 years.
I am aware of at least two pitchers with the 1968 Detroit Tigers who would go to Mayo Smith, and beg for the ball even on two days’ rest, much less five or six days when the race was on!

Pain or no pain, the days when they all thought one cortisone shot cleared up all pains and then threw you out there to pitch and then the next day you could not move your arm.
Now if something is bothering Justin then the rest may be more than just a rest, God forbid!
The name of the game is to get your best out there this time of year. NO ONE takes or needs a day off. There is no rest in the middle of a serious race and we are in a serious race!
Did we forget already about last year and resting all of these guys during the stretch?

I bet no one in that clubhouse is running around telling anyone how tired they may be and I will also bet that they are all biting at the bit to be in the middle of this thing.

I know Leyland and this can’t be his decision. The last time Verlander pitched, he and Leyland had a “debate” and as the story goes and Justin said he wanted to stay in the game. Leyland won that argument we believe. Now it makes serious and clear sense if something is not bothering Justin that he would be screaming at Leyland to pitch Sunday, his regular turn.

And if the Tigers don’t win this series, the stories of a choke will re-surface again. Now you have the glue in the infield out of the line-up (Carlos Guillen) we need him, nothing good happens when you try and replace Major League Players with Triple A players.

Justin if you are not hurt or aching, go tell Leyland that Sunday is the game that you need to pitch. My God it’s Cleveland!

Holding the ace back is not the right thing to do unless he is hurt. Being “tired” — that is a new one on me. It’s all about winning right now, and NO ONE CAN BE TIRED!

One reply on “Denny Mclain: Justin Verlander Should Demand to Pitch on Sunday

  • Cecilia Barzyk

    Dear Mr. McLain,

    You pitched your last major-league game at the age of 28. Teams were not unwilling to give you another chance because of your personality; they were unwilling to give you a chance because you had nothing left in your arm. Is it really so unreasobnable of Mr. Verlander to want to pitch in the majors after he is 30 years old?

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