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Justin Verlander tweaks his approach… at the plate

May 28, 2012, 6:54 PM EDT

Justin Verlander Getty Images

Interleague play is coming up again, and Justin Verlander is sick of being an automatic out at the plate.

“To not succeed at anything pisses me off,” Verlander told CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler. “And not just to not succeed — to not excel.”

As a result, Verlander, who is 0-for-22 with 14 strikeouts lifetime as a hitter (including an 0-for-2 in the World Series), is working with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon and has tweaked his batting stance. The new approach led to him knocking a ball into the upper deck at Target Field in batting practice earlier this week.

“He’s better,” McClendon said. “I’m predicting he gets his first hit.”

  1. sneschalmers - May 28, 2012 at 8:21 PM

    “To not succeed at anything pisses me off,” Verlander told CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler. “And not just to not succeed — to not excel.”

    That’s pretty f’ing awesome.

  2. papacrick - May 28, 2012 at 8:34 PM

    That’s why he’s so good. The most competitive athlete since Tiger came on the scene

  3. tacklemeelmo - May 28, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Hitting an upper deck HR at Target Field in BP is far more impressive than doing it against a Twins starting pitcher! Call me impressed.

  4. baseballisboring - May 28, 2012 at 9:29 PM

    Hey…always room for improvement right?

  5. genericcommenter - May 29, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    He needs to try gripping the knob.

  6. decimusprime - May 29, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    JV is just freakin’ sweet! Hey kiddies, this is what a true competitor looks like. I expect now that he is focused on wanting to hit the ball, being a world-class athlete, he will.

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