HOUSTON, TX (WWBT) - The site of this year's All-Star Game, Nationals Park, is a very reasonable drive for many family members and friends of Goochland native Justin Verlander. Much to the dismay of many, however, Verlander will not see the mound during the mid-summer classic on July 17.
Astros' manager A.J. Hinch said on Tuesday that Verlander will start for Houston the Sunday prior to the All-Star Game, so he's informed the league his ace will not be available to pitch in Washington two days later. The right handed pitcher will make his July 15 start as scheduled against his former team, the Detroit Tigers, at Minute Maid Park.
Verlander has made 18 starts this season and is 9-4 on the season with a 2.12 ERA. His 144 strikeouts are good enough to rank sixth in Major League Baseball and he's only walked 24 batters in 118.2 innings. The Goochland native has hit a bit of a rough patch during his last two outings, going 0-2 and giving up nine earned runs in 11.2 innings pitched.
For the most part, Verlander has been one of baseball's most dominant pitchers this year on one of the game's best pitching staffs. He's lasted at least six innings in all but two of his 18 starts, and has gone at least seven innings on six occasions. His ERA is fourth best among MLB starters.
Despite being unavailable to pitch, Verlander can, and likely will, still be named an All-Star and attend the game in Washington. He has been named to the All-Star team on six previous occasions, though this would mark his first trip to the mid-summer classic since 2013.