ANAHEIM, Calif. – Saturday night, Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander became just the 18th pitcher in Major League history to record 3,000 strikeouts for a career. He reached the milestone with his fourth-inning punchout of Los Angeles’ Kole Calhoun in Houston’s 6-3 victory.
However, the former Old Dominion University star was not done making history.
In the sixth inning, Verlander fanned Calhoun again for his 12th strikeout of the game and 300th of his season — a career high. According to MLB.com, of the 18 previous pitchers to reach 3,000 strikeouts, only three aren’t in the Hall of Fame: Roger Clemens (4,672), Schilling (3,116) and CC Sabathia (3,093), who’s still active. Only Nolan Ryan and Verlander have 3,000 strikeouts and three no-hitters.
For the season, Verlander’s record is 21-and-6. His 21 victories lead all of Major League Baseball. Verlander’s 223 innings pitched are also the most in MLB. He has an ERA of 2.58 and only his teammate Gerit Cole (316) has more strikeouts than Justin’s 300.
The Astros, the team with the best record in baseball this regular season, opens the postseason at home Friday in the American League Division Series. Verlander is expected to be the team’s starting pitcher for game one.
At ODU, Verlander pitched in 46 games for the Monarchs from 2002 to 2004, starting all 46. He won 21 career games and is the all-time strikeout king in ODU, the Colonial Athletic Association and the Commonwealth of Virginia history with 427 in only 335.2 innings of work for an average of 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings.