Justin Verlander did not have his best stuff in Game 4 of the Americal League Divisional Series between the Astros and the Rays, giving up four runs (all earned) off seven hits through just 3 2/3 innings of work.

But the Houston righty isn’t blaming lack of rest for his dismal performance.

So, what’s his excuse?

“Bad slider. Inconsistent control,” Verlander said, per ESPN’s Bradford Doolittle. “I felt like the velocity was there, but the control wasn’t and the slider wasn’t. Mix that in with a good approach (from the Rays) in the first.”

It is worth noting the 36-year-old was indeed working on just three days rest after starting Game 1 of the best-of-five set. But in case he didn’t already have you convinced, Verlander doubled down on his claim a short time later.

“Really the slider was the worst it’s been all year,” he reiterated. “I needed something to go our way, and when I made mistakes, they really capitalized on them with runners on base. It killed us.”

Fair enough.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images