Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander passed 3,000 strikeouts in his career in a game against the LA Angels to become only the 18th pitcher in history to reach that milestone. In the same game, Verlander passed 300 strikeouts on the season.
Verlander also notched his 21st victory of the season. He leads the majors with 21, and he’s the only pitcher to pass 20 wins this season.
“I had more emotion for 300 than 3,000 because I didn’t expect to get there in this game,” said Verlander. “Very thankful to get both accomplishments. It hasn’t set in yet.”
300 Ks IN A SEASON (since 2000)
Randy Johnson (2000, 2001, 2002)
Curt Schilling (2002)
Clayton Kershaw (2015)
Chris Sale (2017)
Max Scherzer (2018)
Gerrit Cole (2019)
Justin Verlander (2019)
Only nine days after teammate Gerrit Cole became the 18th player in modern MLB history to strikeout 300 batters in a season, Verlander became the 19th pitcher to accomplish the feat.
Cole and Verlander became the second set of teammates to whiff 300 batters in a season. In 2002, Randy Johnson and Curt Shilling struck out 300-plus each for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
— Houston Astros (@astros) September 29, 2019
Verlander 3,000 and 300, So Sick Brah
In an unusual stat, Verlander became the first pitcher to record strike out 3,000 with a wild pitch (against Cole Calhoun).
Verlander came into the LA Angels game needing only 6 Ks to pass 3,000, but he needed 12 to reach the 300 marker. He whiffed 11 batters through five innings. He took the mound in the sixth knowing that it would be his final inning.
“Three thousand was something I wanted to accomplish this season. I honestly wrote off 300,” said Verlander. “I thought it was going to be a lot to ask for since these guys don’t strike out much.”
Verlander, 36, became only the third pitcher in history who was age 36 or older to whiff 300 batters in a single season. Noland Ryan did it once at age 42, while Randy Johnson achieved that feat three times at 36, 37, and 38.
This has been a special season for pitching milestones, with both Verlander and the New York Yankees’ CC Sabathia reaching 3,000 strikeouts. Earlier this season, Sabathia became the 17th player in MLB history to pass 3000 K’s. Sabathia is only the third left-hander in history to whiff that many batters.
Verlander is pretty much a lock for the AL Cy Young. He finished the season 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA and 0.80 WHIP.
The Houston Astros boast the best rotation in baseball. The Astros will begin the postseason as the team to beat. Houston is the consensus favorite to win the 2019 World Series. According to William Hill, the Astros are 2/1 odds to win the championship.