Justin Verlander’s Astros debut was a good one

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 05: Justin Verlander
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 05: Justin Verlander /

Justin Verlander’s debut as an Astros pitcher went as well as one could’ve expected.

The Astros are now 85-and-53. They still have a rather large lead in the AL West. The Cleveland Indians are still three games back of the Astros for the best record in the AL.

In terms of baseball in Houston, it couldn’t be much better.

Outside a championship, anyway.

Back to Justin Verlander.

The Astros’ pitcher (still weird!) pitched six solid innings while allowing six hits and a walk while striking out seven. The lone run Verlander surrendered was a solo singer by Corey Seager’s older brother, Kyle Seager.

Then there was an incredible battle between Verlander and Robinson Cano in the first inning.

Cano fouled off six consecutive pitches before Verlander struck him out on an 87 MPH slider. It’s not everyday that you see two future Hall of Fame players duke it out.

Verlander also showed some of the velocity he is known for in his career. For example, he threw a 99.1 MPH fastball against Mitch Haniger. The pitch resulted in a strikeout to Verlander’s credit and Haniger’s detriment.

Unless I’m seriously mistaken, Houston didn’t possess a starting pitcher before Verlander who is capable of that type of heat.

If they did, well, they weren’t effective.

Thanks to Verlander’s old Detroit, and current Houston, teammate Cameron Maybin’s two-run homer in the seventh inning, he was able to pick up his first win as an Astro.

Please note that wins for pitchers are highly overvalued.

Next: Astros Fresno Recap: Grizzlies miss playoffs, finish season

In essence, the Astros’ latest additions enabled the team to pick up their 85th win. That is one more win than they had last season. Barring an unforeseen collapse, the Astros will surpass their 2015 win total of 86 games. Who knows, maybe Verlander’s next start will be for the 90th win of the 2017 Astros?

**Statistics courtesy of Baseball Savant and MLB.com**