Justin Verlander’s outing against the Red Sox reached a fever pitch when the veteran ace shouted at Boston manager Alex Cora.
The heated moment in Houston occurred during a delay Tuesday night in which Verlander expressed his PitchCom communication system wasn’t working correctly.
“F—k off, Alex,” Verlander was heard saying after Cora walked onto the field during the stoppage in play.
Cora was the Astros’ bench coach in 2017, when Verlander joined the team toward the end of a season that ended with Houston’s first World Series title. Cora was later suspended for the 2020 season for his role in the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal.
“The [pitch] clock ran out,” Cora said after Tuesday’s loss, according to MassLive.com. “And we’ve seen this before. I think we’ve been in that place, too, kind of [acting] like the PitchCom doesn’t work. But when you’re shaking off, shaking off, shaking off, what are you shaking off for? Is it the PitchCom? Can you not hear it? I told him he shook off a few times. He said he did not. I said, ‘Just go pitch’ and then he blew me off.”
Cora was later ejected for arguing balls and strikes.
Verlander, 40, said his shout at Cora was partly his way of expressing, “I’m done with this.”
“You do what you want, talk to the umpire,” Verlander said afterward, according to ESPN. “I’m going to worry about pitching.”
Verlander signed a two-year, $86.6 million contract with the Mets last offseason after spending parts of six seasons with Houston. The underachieving Mets then traded Verlander back to the Astros before the Aug. 1 trade deadline.
Verlander, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is 3-1 with a 3.38 ERA in his four starts since rejoining the Astros, with the lone loss coming against the Yankees in his first game back. He pitched six shutout innings in Tuesday’s 7-3 win over the Red Sox.
Cora became Boston’s manager in 2018 but left the team in 2020 amid investigations into the Astros scandal and cheating allegations involving the 2018 title-winning Red Sox. He was not disciplined in the Red Sox probe and returned as the team’s manager before the 2021 season.