To say Justin Verlander has accomplished a lot during his 15-year major league career is a massive understatement. The hard-throwing righty and former MVP, Cy Young winner, Rookie of the Year, and seven-time All-Star added yet another accomplishment to his resume during Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Verlander recorded his 2,807th strikeout against Robbie Grossman, surpassing the great Cy Young while moving into 21st all-time in strikeouts.
Justin Verlander Moves Into 21st on Strikeout List, Surpasses Cy Young
Verlander’s historic strikeout came during yet another fantastic start by Houston’s ace. The righty pitched eight innings of one-run ball, striking out eight while walking just two batters and allowing four hits. With the 114-pitch outing, Verlander’s ERA dropped to 2.27, good for fourth-best among starting pitchers. His 103 strikeouts on the season are second-most in baseball, only behind fellow Astro Gerrit Cole.
Verlander initially joined the Astros midway through the 2017 season. Since joining Houston, Verlander has struck out 436 batters in 335.1 innings of work, good for an astonishing 11.7 K/9 rate. All of his other numbers have been equally fantastic, as the longtime ace has a 2.31 ERA, 3.00 FIP, and a 1.6 BB/9 as a member of the Astros. Houston has been one of the most successful teams in the league since Verlander joined the roster, and his phenomenal pitching has been a major reason for Houston’s success.
Prior to joining the Astros, Verlander spent the better part of 13 seasons with the Detroit Tigers. During his time in Detroit, the righty recorded 2,373 strikeouts in 2,511 innings of work to go along with a 3.49 ERA and a 3.48 FIP. His best season likely came in 2011 when he recorded a league-best 2.40 ERA in 251.0 innings of work. Verlander won MVP honors for his fantastic season and remains the last pitcher to take home the honor.
Verlander should move into the top-20 before long. As things currently stand, Verlander is just four strikeouts behind Mike Mussina. The righty has a good chance to surpass Mussina in his next start. He can make it as high as 18th before hitting the 3,000-strikeout mark.
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