Justin Verlander was given a chance to finish off a complete game last night against the Royals, but Tigers manager Brad Ausmus decided to pull him after he gave up a two-out single to Eric Hosmer. He was at 114 pitches at the time and the next batter, Salvador Perez, had done a lot of damage against him in his career. The decision was greeted with boos from the fans at Comerica Park. Alex Wilson then gave up a game-tying two-run homer to Salvador Perez. The Tigers eventually won the game 5-4 in 12 innings.
As you can see in the video linked here, Verlander urged fans to cheer rather than boo after he was removed. According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, he expressed his disappointment in the fans after the game:
“There were a lot of positives tonight,” Verlander said, “and I’m a big believer in positive energy, positive vibes. And I don’t think that was a good situation to boo. We’ve got a lot of good things going; here comes our reliever in to a bunch of boos. Obviously, granted, it’s not for him, but I just didn’t think that was the right situation.
“I wished they were a little more positive in that situation. Granted, I’ve been booed, everybody’s been booed. It happens. But I’m a firm believer in positive energy.”
It’s been a frustrating year for the Tigers and Ausmus appears to be a lame duck at the moment, but Verlander is finishing the season strong. The 32-year-old has a 1.88 ERA and 51/14 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings over his last eight starts.