Oct 11, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) reacts as he walks off the field against the Seattle Mariners at the end of third inning in game one of the ALDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander got rocked Tuesday.

The Seattle Mariners hit the two-time Cy Young Award winner early and often, collecting 10 hits and six earned runs before the Astros gave Verlander the hook after four innings.

The Mariners seemed on their way to an easy victory, but the Astros rallied, and Yordan Álvarez hit a walk-off, three-run home run to defeat the Mariners, 8-7. The Astros take a 1-0 lead in their ALDS.

So given the final outcome, Verlander’s Game 1 performance might end up being only a minor blip in the rearview mirror on the Astros postseason highway.

Verlander’s rough outing was as rare as it was surprising. The 39-year-old right-hander has a 3.40 ERA in 31 career postseason appearances. But as some observers pointed out on Twitter, he’s had his postseason misfires before (having a 5.68 ERA in seven World Series outings).

Also, for some reason, the Mariners seem to have Verlander’s number. He has given up six or more runs to Seattle three times since joining Houston in 2017.



Verlander should pitch better in his next ALDS start. And thanks to Alvarez’s ninth-inning heroics for the Astros, he won’t have to blame himself for a loss after this tough outing.

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.