Rangers send Justin Verlander to worst start

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.