HOUSTON (AP) — Justin Verlander is a true top of the line ace, a starter who’s likely headed for the Hall of Fame.
But in the World Series, he showed he’s no closer.
Verlander wasn’t bad in Game 6 on Tuesday night. Just not good enough to get his first World Series win and give the Houston Astros their second title in three seasons.
Verlander, who led the majors with 21 wins this season, fell to 0-6 with a 5.68 ERA in seven World Series starts.
“I thought we didn’t talk about record anymore,” Verlander said with a smile. “Hey, there’s been some good games mixed in with some not-so-good ones. I can’t point a finger to anything in particular. I’m going out there and trying my best. Just wasn’t able to come away with a win.”
Houston led by 1 in the fifth before Verlander surrendered a solo homer to Adam Eaton and a second-deck dinger to Juan Soto to put the Nationals on their way to a 7-2 victory to force a Game 7 on Wednesday night.
Verlander gave up five hits and three runs while walking three before Brad Peacock replaced him for the sixth. He fell to 1-4 this postseason.
“I thought he ran out of gas at the end,” manager AJ Hinch said, “I thought he left it all out on the field.”
The 36-year-old has a World Series ring, MVP and Cy Award trophies, and three no-hitters on a sparkling resume. But time and time again he’s been unable to get it done on baseball’s biggest stage.
“I don’t know if I’d say that,” he said. “Hopefully I get another opportunity.”
That could come as early as Wednesday.
“It’s a Game 7 all hands on deck,” Verlander said. “If AJ asks, I’m sure I’ll figure out a way.”
Verlander was also the loser in Game 2 when he allowed four runs in six innings as Houston fell into a 0-2 hole to start…