The Monday Takeaway
He got his ring with Houston, but when Justin Verlander goes into the Hall of Fame, he’ll be wearing a Tigers hat.
There’s no question that Verlander will be enshrined in Cooperstown. He could retire tomorrow and make it in. Seven All-Star appearances. A Rookie of the Year award. The Cy Young and the MVP in the same year. Five other top-five Cy Young finishes, and another one likely coming this year. He’s inside of the top 25 all-time in strikeouts, and he’s nowhere near done.
The great majority of all of that came with Detroit. He returned there for the first time since being traded to the Astros last year.
He pitched on a cold dreary day in front of a barebones crowd. It was the perfect encapsulation of the 2018 Tigers.
Verlander, of course, shoved. He struck out ten and earned a win.
It’s still a little weird to see Verlander in a Houston uniform. He is a Tiger, through and through, and will be remembered as such. Seeing him back in Detroit felt right. It was only fitting that he dominated.
Quick Hits from Monday
Trevor Story now has 32 home runs on the year. He is a shortstop.
I mean are we pretending that Trevor Story is irreplaceable
— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 15, 2018
Get a load of this idiot.
The Rays now have the same record as the Mariners, which in a vacuum isn’t the craziest statement to make over the last few years. The thing is, both of these teams are reasonably good this year. That was expected from Seattle, and decidedly not from Tampa Bay. The Rays are playing good baseball right now and it’s freaking weird.
Here come the Brewers.
Lorenzo Cain had a big night as Milwaukee beat the Cubs, and the Brewers are now just one game out of first place. Jon Lester also left this game with the athletic trainer. These last few weeks are going to be wild in the Central.
Defensive Play of the Day
Remember how Mike Trout is an amazing defender on top of being an all-time hitter?
That’s not fair, man.
What to Watch on Tuesday
All of the good games are bunched up today, so you’ll need to make some choices. The horror!
The first worthy candidate starts at 7:10 p.m. when the Indians and Rays face off. Tampa is red hot and Cleveland is Cleveland. They’re also expected to activate Josh Donaldson, which is cool. Shane Bieber and Tyler Glasnow are the starters.
If the Rays aren’t your thing, perhaps an NL Central grudge match is in order? The Brewers and Cubs will face off to try to determine the division winner. Jhoulys Chacin and Jose Quintana will be on the mound at 8:05.