And that happened:
Cruz hit the third pitch of the inning over the left-field fence for a solo home run, and the Rangers now have a 3-0 lead. Couple of notes:
- A 91 m.p.h. fastball? Yikes. That's Sergio Romo territory. The upward trend is nice, but I think a lot of us underestimated how much the eight innings took out of Verlander in his last start.
- Nelson Cruz can hit baseballs really far
Verlander doesn't look bad -- and the tight strike zone is just killing him -- but he certainly doesn't look like Verlander quite yet. Tim Welke is forcing him to come in to the middle of the strike zone, and when he's coming in, he doesn't have quite the zip on his fastball that he often does. It's not like this is unusual for Verlander, but the velocity combined with the strike zone is conspiring against Verlander right now.