Bronx, NY – It is October in New York. Throw in the Bronx and Yankee Stadium and this is always a special time to soak in if you are a baseball fan.
Justin Verlander's Hall of Fame Career will endure another big moment in the playoffs.
Verlander's history in the postseason against the Yankees began in October 2006. He had broken into the Big Leagues and there he was in the pressure of October at Yankee Stadium. It was the ALDS Game 2 and he helped lead the Tigers to the AL Pennant that season to begin a productive playoff experience that still continues to this day.
VERLANDER'S CAREER IN POSTSEASON
21 HR Allowed
Verlander will get the baseball tonight in Game 5 of the ALCS with the chance to eliminate the Yankees and get the Astros back to the World Series for a second time in franchise history. The Yankees know him well as they were dominated by JV during the 2017 ALCS where he was lights out against the Bronx Bomber lineup. Verlander tossed 16 innings in a couple of starts and allowed a mere one run.
Let's just say the Yankees fans are still bitter about Verlander and losing that series as I have been reminded of a few times this week here in New York..
Verlander has mostly success in the postseason as indicated on the graph above. In the 2012 ALDS Verlander faced the Oakland A's twice. In a key Game 5 he went 9 shutout innings in a 6-0 win leading the Tigers to the ALCS that year.
The following year in the ALDS against Oakland once again, Verlander got the job done. In a 3-0 win, he had a no-hitter going into the 7th inning of Game 5. He struck out 10 for the win that propelled Detroit to the ALCS.
From his run in Detroit, Verlander brought his A-Game to Houston at the trade deadline in the summer of 2017.
VERLANDER WITH THE ASTROS
2017 -2019 IN THE POSTSEASON
71 2/3 innings
3 so far this season starts
In the 2017 World Series run, Verlander won two ALDS games over Boston and was a part of the clinching Game 4 when he came out of the bullpen to pitch a short stint as Houston took down the Red Sox and advance to the ALCS
Verlander was key in that ALCS round leading the Astros to a Game 6 victory to avoid being eliminated by the Yankees. In that ALCS round versus New York, Verlander tossed 16 innings while going 2-0 with an ERA of 0.56. Those dominant numbers earned Verlander the ALCS MVP Award.
In the 2017 World Series lost to the Dodgers in a game that could have clinched the title. According to MLB stats, that was the first time he had not closed out in a situation that would have clinched a postseason series. Prior to that he was 3-0 during his career in Detroit.
Verlander lost in a deciding Game 5 of the ALCS last season to the Red Sox at Minute Maid Park. His first setback in an elimination game situation.
Now, here we are in 2019 and Verlander once again will take the mound at Yankee Stadium with a shot to send the Astros back to the World Series. He's on full rest and all the pieces are falling into place for Houston.
Earn a win tonight , and they will get the well deserved opportunity to rest for a few days before the World Series begins on Tuesday at home against the Washington Nationals.
Something tells me the champagne will be flowing inside of the clubhouse late tonight. Then it's on to the Fall Classic.
27 outs to go !