Justin Verlander Reaches 3,000 Career Strikeouts

HOUSTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 17: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on September 17, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Justin Verlander Reaches 3,000 Career Strikeouts

Justin Verlander struck out Kole Calhoun in the fourth inning on Saturday in Los Angeles to record his 3,000th Major League strikeout. It was his 298th of the season. Verlander is the 18th pitcher in MLB history to record 3,000 or more strikeouts. The all-time leader in strikeouts is Nolan Ryan with 5,714. The active leader is C.C. Sabathia with 3,091 Ks.

Strikeouts by the Number

Verlander made his MLB debut for the Detroit Tigers on July 4th, 2005. He pitched 5 1/3 innings and took the loss. He did record four strikeouts in the game, including his first when he struck out Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians in the bottom of the first inning.

Strikeout number 100 came against Tadahito Iguchi of the Chicago White Sox on August 11th, 2006, and number 500 came on April 22nd against Chone Figgins. Strikeout number 1,000 came in Detroit against A.J. Pierzynski on his last batter of the night. His 2,000th strikeout came against Danny Santana of the Minnesota Twins, and his 2,500th strikeout came in May when he struck out Shohei Ohtani in Los Angeles.


Verlander won the Rookie of the Year in the American League in 2006 — the same year the Tigers went to the World Series. He would return to the Fall Classic one more time with the Tigers in 2012. However, they lost both times. In 2011, Verlander won both the AL Cy Young and MVP awards. He was the 9th of only 10 pitchers to ever complete this feat.

In 2017, Verlander was traded from the Tigers to the Houston Astros for three prospects: Franklin Perez, Daz Cameron, and Jake Rogers. He would lead the team to the playoffs, be named the AL Championship Series MVP, and help the Astros to their first World Series title.

He is an eight-time All-Star, including this season, and is a top contender for the AL Cy Young every year.

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