Justin Verlander is making his New York Mets debut on Thursday afternoon.
The team committed $86 million over two years to secure the services of the 40-year-old ace.
Before Opening Day, he was diagnosed with a mild teres major strain on his right shoulder, forcing him to miss a little over a month of the regular season.
He is finally pitching in an MLB game in Thursday, in front of Detroit Tigers fans.
In case you don’t remember, Verlander was a Tiger from 2005 to 2017.
He went to two World Series with them before being traded to the Houston Astros.
Fans certainly greeted him with love, reminiscing old memories.
The Tigers hitters, however, were not as nice:
“This is hardly the beginning that Justin Verlander wanted in his return from the injured list. Pitching in his old home, Verlander has allowed back-to-back home runs to Riley Greene and Javier Báez. Tigers 2, Mets 0, bottom one,” Mets insider Anthony DiComo tweeted.
This is hardly the beginning that Justin Verlander wanted in his return from the injured list. Pitching in his old home, Verlander has allowed back-to-back home runs to Riley Greene and Javier Báez.
Tigers 2, Mets 0, bottom one. pic.twitter.com/B3y09LmniD
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) May 4, 2023
Verlander is over the shoulder issue, but that doesn’t mean his command is back.
That might take time.
He is 40, so his body doesn’t recover as nicely as that of a 25-year-old.
Last year, he had a 1.75 ERA and won the Cy Young in the American League, so while sharp decline is a very real possibility at his age, it’s highly unlikely.
We need to see much more to officially give a verdict, because it’s still just one game.
The Mets certainly hope he can be close to his 2022 version, in which he struck out 185 batters and posted a 0.83 WHIP.
Only time will tell, but it’s fair to say that Tigers hitters didn’t exactly welcome him back with open arms.NEXT: Justin Verlander Is Returning To His Old Home