What Major Astros Record is Likely to be Broken Next?

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Justin Verlander
Justin Verlander /

Single-Season ERA and WHIP: Justin Verlander
Current Record: Nolan Ryan (ERA) and Justin Verlander (WHIP)

Relative to baseball history, the season that Justin Verlander is having on the mound has easily been the most impressive thing about the 2022 Astros so far. Not only is he 39 years old, but he’s coming off Tommy John surgery. For most pitchers, that automatically means the end of a career, but Verlander isn’t just in contention for the Cy Young Award. He’s in the running for the greatest season an Astros starting pitcher has ever had.

Verlander’s latest dazzling performance came against the Twins a couple of nights ago, as he struck out 10 and didn’t allow a run, a walk, or a hit across 6 shutout innings, only getting taken out of the game due to his high pitch count (91). It’s nearly dumbfounding as to how he continues to pitch like that despite all the things he has been through that would take a conventional starter out of baseball entirely.

He continues to prove, though, that he’s nothing short of extraordinary. The legendary Nolan Ryan holds the Astros’ single-season ERA title at 1.69, set in 1981. Verlander currently sits at 1.87, down from 1.95 which is what it was before his outing against Minnesota. To fully grasp how absurd his season has been, it must be appreciated that his ERA was 1.73 just three weeks ago, but it ballooned up to 1.95 after his next two starts. Yet, both those outings were still quality starts. A couple more shutout efforts of between 5 and 7 innings should put Verlander in striking distance of the coveted ERA crown.

WHIP is another standard statistic often used in harmony with ERA; it essentially measures traffic on the base paths. Verlander himself holds Houston’s single-season WHIP record after his Cy-Young-winning 2019 in which he posted a 0.803 mark. He’s currently at 0.846 in 2022, so he could surpass himself and kill two birds with one stone by setting the single-season ERA and WHIP record in the same year. The excellence of Verlander’s 2022 cannot be overstated, and he’ll be remembered for his efforts this year for a very long time to come.

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