On each occasion, it was part of a physical examination before the right-hander signed big contracts with the Tigers, the latest of which is a 10-year, $219 million deal that takes him through the 2019 season and includes a $22 milion vesting option in 2020.
Verlander will undergo a third MRI on Tuesday in Detroit and it won't be such a happy occasion this time. The examination will come following his departure from Monday night's 11-6 loss to the Pirates at Pittsburgh after one inning because of soreness in his right shoulder.
Verlander (10-11) exited after allowing five runs -- four earned -- and four hits with two walks and three strikeouts as the Pirates took a 5-1 lead.
The loss ended Verlander's streak of 14 consecutive interleague victories. He had been 4-0 both against NL teams this season and against the Pirates in his career.
"Obviously there's a level concern when you go get an MRI," Verlander said. "That's never a good sign -- that's the first time in my career (other than for the physicals) -- I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous. I've never been through this before. I'll keep my hopes high and keep my fingers crossed."
Verlander said he initially had trouble getting loose during pre-game warmups then again when he took the mound to start the bottom of the first inning. He lobbied to stay in the game because the Tigers were forced to use their bullpen for 13 innings Sunday in a 19-inning loss to the Blue Jays at Toronto.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said there was no way he was going to allow Verlander to pitch a second inning despite his relief corps being depleted.
"I wouldn't have been able to live with myself because he's just a big part of this team," Ausmus said. "I would've kicked myself from now until the end of the season. In hindsight, I should have probably taken him out during the (first) inning. His delivery didn't look right to me or (pitching coach) Jeff Jones."