Reason for Justin Verlander’s hand bleeding dates back to last season

A trainer treat Justin Verlander's bl;eeding hand and blood marks on his pain on August 5, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.

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NEW YORK — After a brief spell with the Mets, Justin Verlander returned to the Astros lineup against the Yankees. However, his 2023 debut game for Houston saw him pitching while his hand was bleeding. But it’s not uncommon for him, as he experienced the same in his last start of the regular season last year. A specific knuckle on his hand occasionally bleeds.

Justin Verlander has been coping with a minor cut on one of the knuckles of his pitching hand for a few weeks. However, in his first start back with the Astros on Saturday, he was surprised when it turned into what he described as “a gusher.”

After the Astros’ 3-1 loss, in which Justin Verlander allowed just two runs over seven innings, the Houston starter admitted that he had nicked his hand on his glove. He mentioned that he had done it a couple of starts ago, but it wasn’t severe and he had been managing it. But in the first inning of the recent game, he fully ripped it.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Following his quick strikeout of Yankees leadoff hitter Jake Bauers on three pitches during his season debut with the Astros, Justin Verlander called in a trainer to examine his pitching hand. Athletic trainer Jeremiah Randall attended to the knuckle and applied a substance to it. Justin Verlander then returned to the mound, blowing on his hand, and continued pitching.

The bleeding from the knuckle was significant enough that as Justin Verlander made his way back to the dugout in the first inning and visible spots of blood could be observed on the back of his pants where he grips the ball before pitching.

Karen Warren/Staff photographer

Justin Verlander clarified the bleeding

Justin Verlander explained that the condition on his knuckle was akin to a blister, though slightly different. He described how he had accidentally torn it open, leading to excessive bleeding. He clarified that although it might appear worse than it actually was, a few drops of blood are typically manageable by wiping it on his jersey. However, in this case, it was more severe, requiring him to attend to it properly.

Following the examination of his hand, Justin Verlander faced challenges with his command, issuing two walks to Yankees batters before escaping the inning. When he took the mound for the second inning, the blood on his knuckle had disappeared, but he conceded the first run of the game. However, Justin Verlander asserted that the nick on his hand didn’t impact his control issues, as the cut was on the exterior of his hand and unrelated to the ball’s handling.

Justin Verlander regained his composure after the initial hurdles, allowing only two runs on seven hits and two walks in a solid seven-inning performance.

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