Justin Verlander was close to perfection Wednesday, pitching five shutout innings of allowing one hit, even as the New York Mets fell to the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 at Clover Park in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. in the continuation of the exhibition games.
The 40-year-old right-hander, who comes from winning the Cy Young in the American League with a record of 18-5 and an ERA of 1.75 with the Houston Astros, promises big with the Mets, a team with which he agreed for two seasons and 86 million of dollars.
All four of his pitches (slider, curveball, changeup and fastball) all worked very well. Between the last out in the top of the second inning and the first in the fourth, Verlander struck out five straight batters.
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"It's always good to go up against guys like Justin Verlander," Cardinals manager Oliver Mármol told mlb.com. "He's really good at what he does."
However, Verlander was not happy. “Today was one of those days where I felt like the slider on my slider was a little loose,” he stated. The veteran is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 16 strikeouts in three starts and 11.1 innings in spring games.