Justin Verlander's All-Star struggles channeled Jim Palmer ... sort of

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It was a rough All-Star game for defending American League Cy Young and MVP winner Justin Verlander on July 10. The Tigers ace surrendered five first-inning runs to National League batters, the most first-inning All-Star runs allowed since Roger Clemens gave up six as an Astros starter before the hometown fans in 2006.

Great pitchers aren't always great during All-Star starts. Just ask Orioles legend Jim Palmer. Palmer won three Cy Young awards in four seasons between 1973 and 1976. He then bombed as the A.L. All-Star starter in 1977 and 1978, allowing eight earned runs in a combined 4.2 innings pitched. Those lowlights led ESPN blogger Dave Schoenfield to joke during Verlander's rough outing, "Reminds me of All-Star games when I was a kid and Jim Palmer would get rocked in the first inning."

Let's be fair to Palmer, though. While he did struggle in his final All-Star outings, Palmer was on his game during his initial appearances in the Midseason Classic. Palmer pitched a total of eight All-Star innings in the 1970, 1971 and 1972 games. He allowed three hits total in those three years, gave up no runs and struck out eight batters.

Overall, Palmer pitched 12.2 innings in five All-Star games (he didn't pitch in the 1975 game despite being an All Star), allowed 11 hits and eight earned runs, with 14 strikeouts and seven walks. That amounts to a 5.68 ERA and 1.421 WHIP. Those certainly aren't Palmer-esque numbers, but they're heavily skewed by two bad outings.


1 comment

Jim Palmer

Submitted by Jack (not verified) on Wed, 2012-07-11 10:00.

I thought of Palmer's outing when he got dinged for a couple of home runs (3?) and when Bily Martin came out - Palmer threw up his hands and looked like he said "What took you so long?"

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