Justin Verlander’s return to the Tigers doesn’t appear imminent. He had to cut a simulated game short on Wednesday due to fatigue and James Schmehl of MLive.com reports that he continued to complain of soreness in his throwing arm today. The Tigers now plan to slow things down with him:
“We expected him to be sore the next day,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Sunday. “But two days later, we expected he’d have recovered better.”
The Tigers expected Verlander to be sore today after having thrown a 35-pitch bullpen followed by a 45-pitch simulated game Wednesday in Pittsburgh. But it appears the degree of soreness remains a cause for concern for the Tigers.
“We’re going to slow him down,” Ausmus said. “He’s a little more sore the second day than we’d planned, so we’re going to slow him down a little bit.”
Verlander landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career this month due to triceps soreness, but the hope was that he would be able to make his season debut on April 21 against the Yankees. That possibility has already been ruled out. He could do some light throwing tomorrow if he feels good, but he’s still a ways from joining the Tigers.
2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.
One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.
The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.