Justin Verlander escaped with the win Saturday despite allowing four runs on eight hits and three walks with six strikeouts over 5.2 innings against the Twins.
Verlander has been out since August 11 with a shoulder injury and while he managed to escape with an easy first inning, he labored against the Twins over the next two and had the Tigers in a 4-2 hole by the end of the third inning. He settled down and went a little deeper into the game, but the overall results seem to be the same. Simply put, he's just not the same pitcher as he once was. Perhaps the shoulder is worn to the point of no-return. Whatever the case may be, it's time to stop looking at him based solely on name and reputation.ANALYST: Howard Bender