Justin Verlander cruised through eight shutout innings this afternoon, toying with the Rays lineup while needing just 81 pitches to record 24 outs.
And then everything unraveled in the ninth inning.
Verlander allowed three singles and a walk before being removed with one out and a 2-2 tie, but Daniel Schlereth and Jose Valverde turned that into a 4-2 loss.
By the time the Rays’ comeback was over Tigers pitchers threw 52 pitches in the inning after Verlander threw a total of 81 through eight innings.
Verlander’s final line: 8.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 7 SO … and his first regular season loss since July 15 of last season. In between losses Verlander was 12-0 with a 2.38 ERA.
As the great Ron Burgundy would say: “Boy, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast.”
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.