Justin Verlander had made 13 career starts at Kauffman Stadium and never given up more than four runs. Of course, he was facing the Royals in those outings.
The NL All-Stars roughed up Verlander in the first inning Tuesday, scoring five runs on four hits and two walks. Ryan Braun started the scoring with an RBI double, but Pablo Sandoval’s three-run triple was the big blow. Sandoval went on to score on a Dan Uggla single.
The plan was for Verlander to pitch two innings tonight, but Joe Nathan replaced him to start the second. Verlander is the fourth starter to allow five runs in an All-Star Game, joining Jim Palmer (AL, 1977), Tom Glavine (NL, 1992) and Roger Clemens (NL, 2004).
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.
Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.
Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.
Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”