JV reaches 2K in K’s
Justin Verlander reached the 2000-strikeout mark for his Major League career. Jarrod Saltalamacchia accounts for eight of those, not counting three others in postseason play.
“I definitely helped him with that,” Saltalamacchia said. “I’m expecting maybe a Casio watch.”
That was a little gag at Verlander, a noted watch collector.
Brad Ausmus isn’t nearly as far up the list, but he accounts for one of those strikeouts in two at-bats during Verlander’s rookie season a decade ago.
“He’s been one of the elite pitchers in baseball since he arrived on the scene in ’06, really,” Ausmus said. “I think since the end of last July, when a lot of people doubted him, I think he’s kind of shown that he’s got some left in the tank. It might not be 97-100 [mph] anymore, but he’s got years of experience. And he can still crank it up to 96-97 when he needs to. He’s got a little more moxie now.”
Leaders on the Verlander career strikeout list, according to baseball-reference:
- Alex Gordon, 29
- Asdrubal Cabrera, 25
- Nick Swisher, 25
- Shin-Soo Choo, 24
- Jhonny Peralta, 20
- Paul Konerko, 16
- Grady Sizemore, 16
- Justin Morneau, 15
- Mark Teahen, 15
- Jim Thome, 15
- Travis Hafner, 15
- Adam Dunn, 15
Hafner was Verlander’s first and second strikeouts, fanning in the first and second innings of his Major League debut in Cleveland on July 4, 2005. It took Hafner two years to get him back with a home run.
Verlander has more strikeouts against Cleveland (302) than any other team he has faced, and it’s not close. The next-highest opponent is Kansas City with 221, followed by the White Sox with 200. Even with 10 strikeouts Wednesday, the Twins are still last among division opponents with 197.
Joe Mauer accounts for 12 of Verlander’s 2003 strikeouts, including one Thursday with a runner on third and two outs in the seventh inning. He also accounts for a lot of respect.
“I’ve faced him pretty much my whole career and he’s really evolved into a pitcher,” Mauer said. “When he first started to come up, he was more of a thrower. He could get away with a lot of things. But he was pretty tough today.”
- Verlander has more four-pitch strikeouts (572) than any other duration. He has 508 five-pitch strikeouts, and just 329 three-pitch K’s.
- Verlander has recorded more strikeouts in the fourth inning (313) than any other frame. Next highest is the second inning with 310, followed by the opening inning with 306.
- Verlander has more strikeouts on the road (1035) than at home (968).
- Thirty-seven strikeouts have come with the bases loaded. He has 1209 with the bases empty.
- Wednesday was Verlander’s 31st outing with double-digit strikeouts.