After a shoulder scare just before the season forced New York Mets ace Justin Verlander to miss about five weeks, he made his long-awaited return to the mound on Thursday.
The venue was none other than Comerica Park, a stadium he called home from 2005 to 2017.
With the Detroit Tigers, Verlander posted a solid 3.49 ERA in 2,511 innings.
He won just about every individual award there is to win there.
On Thursday, his day started on the wrong foot, as he allowed consecutive first-inning home runs to Riley Greene and Javier Baez.
He settled down after that, but the damage was done and the Tigers spoiled his return with a loss.
Not only that, but the Mets were swept against a sub-.500 team.
The @tigers sweep the Mets! 🧹 pic.twitter.com/awaEqfG5El
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) May 4, 2023
Speaking of .500, that’s the Mets’ current mark as the loss takes them to 16-16 on the season.
The year has been very difficult when it comes to injuries.
Verlander missed more than a month, Edwin Diaz is out for the year, Jose Quintana won’t return for another couple of months, and Carlos Carrasco is also out at the moment.
All things considered, Verlander showed some composure to rebound after giving up the consecutive home runs.
His afternoon ended with five innings (79 pitches), five hits, two runs, a walk, and five strikeouts.
It wasn’t a bad first start at all, and he is now in position to increase his pitch count closer to 90-95 in his next outing.
Things might look bad at the moment for the Mets, but the season is young and they have at least recovered both Verlander and the formerly suspended Max Scherzer.NEXT: Max Scherzer's First Start Since Suspension Didn't Go As Planned