It was not the spectacular matchup of aces that everyone had hoped for Thursday night in Arlington. In fact, for Justin Verlander, it was his worst career start ever, thanks to a horrible third inning. ESPN Stats & Information provides some of the evidence:
Verlander tied a career-high with eight earned runs in just 2 2/3 innings against the Rangers, his fourth career start of fewer than three innings pitched.
He had two bases-loaded walks in the third inning, giving him three in two starts. It was the first time he's ever had two bases-loaded walks in the same inning and just the fifth time in his career to issue a walk with the bases loaded. He's done it three times in the last two starts (just twice in the first 239 starts of his career).
His fastball averaged a season-high 95.3 mph, but it wasn't effective (allowed four hits and got one strikeout on his fastball).
Verlander threw just three strikes on 10 first-pitch fastballs (last time with such a low percentage of first-pitch fastballs for strikes was April 27, 2010 -- 4 out of 14).
He has just one strikeout and 10 hits allowed against his fastball in his past two starts.
A majority of Verlander's fastballs were out of the strike zone (49 percent), the third-consecutive start in which a majority of his fastballs were out of the strike zone.