Astros News

Astros: Justin Verlander gets 9th win on historic night

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OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottm of the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 1, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 01: Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottm of the first inning of a Major League Baseball game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on June 1, 2019 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Astros’ ace Justin Verlander has another age-defying performance to earn his ninth win and reaches a historic milestone in the process.

It’s simply a privilege to watch Justin Verlander practice his art of pitching night after night. It’s akin to watching a virtuoso on stage playing a masterpiece on his piano for the audience, except Verlander’s stage is the pitcher’s mound and his audience is the fans of the Houston Astros.

Once again, he performed his masterpiece for us on his way to earning his ninth win of the season, against only two losses. In the midst of it all, he surpassed Cy Young on the all-time strikeout list moving him up to 21st place. He just needs five more to make it into the top 20 and pass up Mike Mussina, and no doubt leap a few others before the year is done.

Most of the time, when you see a team sign a multi-million dollar contract that will extend a pitcher’s stay passed his 39 birthday, one might scratch their head in wonder. Not the case with a pitcher that seems to just get better with age.

Take last night as an example. The 36-year-old pitcher tosses eight complete innings with a total pitch count of 114 and is still striking out batters up to the very end, eight on the night. In fact, Verlander has exceeded the 100 pitch count in 11 of his 13 appearances this season. That certainly doesn’t sound like an aging pitcher on the downswing of his career.

Speaking of Cy Young, Verlander seems well on his way to earning his second Cy Young Award this year, avenging his second place finish last season. He is currently tied in the American League with nine wins and is second behind Jake Odorizzi with a 2.37 ERA. He leads the league in WHIP (0.744), innings pitched (87.1), and second behind teammate Gerrit Cole in strikeouts (103).

If you average out his 13 performances of the season into a full 162 game year, the numbers are astounding. He would end up the season with a 23-5 record and racking up 269 strikeouts in 228 innings of work.

Next. Astros: Straw scores to tie it, Fisher homers to win it. dark

As I stated before, I feel lucky to be able to witness watching a pitcher toss his masterpieces and experience history in the making. Fortunately, for fans of the Astros, we get to be a part of it until at least 2022.

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