Friday, October 20, 2017

Justin Verlander and facing the same playoff opponent back-to-back

Justin Verlander will face the Yankees for the second time this series with the Astros' season on the line. Let's see what, if anything, the numbers tell us, while we grind our fingers down to nubs waiting for 7:08pm.

2006 vs. St. Louis, WS G1/G5
Game 1: 5IP, 6H/7ER, 8K:2BB, 35 Game Score
Game 5: 6IP, 6H/3R (1ER), 4K:3BB, 53 Game Score

2011 vs. New York, ALDS G1/G3
Game 1: 1IP, 0H/1ER, 1K:2BB, 48 Game Score*
Game 3: 8IP, 6H/4ER, 11K:3BB, 62 Game Score

*After a 77-minute rain delay, both Verlander and Yankees starter CC Sabathia were removed from the game.

2011 vs. Arlington, ALCS G1/G5
Game 1: 4IP, 5H/3ER, 5K:2BB, 43 Game Score
Game 5: 7.1IP, 8H/4ER, 8K:3BB, 51 Game Score

2012 vs Oakland, ALDS G1/G5
Game 1: 7IP, 3H/1ER, 11K:4BB, 74 Game Score
Game 5: 9IP, 4H/0ER, 11K:1BB, 89 Game Score

2013 vs. Oakland, ALDS G2/G5
Game 2: 7IP, 4H/0ER, 11K:1BB, 79 Game Score
Game 5: 8IP, 2H/0ER, 10K:1BB, 87 Game Score

So his 1st time against the same opponent in a playoff series has gone as such:
24IP, 18H/12ER, 36K:11BB, 4.50 ERA / 1.21 WHIP

And the 2nd time against the same opponent in a playoff series:
38.1IP, 26H/11ER, 44K:11BB, 2.58 ERA / 0.97 WHIP

Each game is its own universe, and it's hard to just sum each of these games down to one line. That said, B-Ref's math would indicate that each time he's faced an opponent for the second time, Verlander has seen an increase in his Game Score. It'll be impressive for Verlander to improve upon the 85 Game Score he threw in his Game 2 gem, but wouldn't it be fun if he did?