Justin Verlander is Out of Control
Just two days after his Detroit Tigers clinched the American League Central title for the first time since 1987, Justin Verlander became the first pitcher in nine years to reach 24 wins.
Completing his 12th straight victory in as many starts, the high-velocity ace improved to 24-5 with his team's 3-0 win over the Oakland Athletics Sunday, lowering his ERA to 2.29 with a total of 244 strikeouts on the season. You think that's good? He has a 2.28 ERA with 91 K's in 87 innings over his streak. Surrendering just three measly hits over eight impeccable innings, Verlander extended his scoreless streak to 17 innings.
The right-hander also became the first hurler to win 12 consecutive starts since Johan Santana crushed that stat back in 2006 with the Minnesota Twins.
Verlander has earned the most victories in a big league season since Randy Johnson hit the 24-win mark in 2002. He needs just one more to become the winningest pitcher in a season since Bob Welch went 27-6 for the Oakland Athletics in 1990.
He has nearly everything to do with Detroit's quest for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, as they currently sit one game ahead of the Texas Rangers for the American League's no. 2 seed this October. The future Cy Young Award recipient had this to say about his team's impending playoff run:
"I'd like to start at home... I want the home crowd behind me. I know it will be loud since they haven’t seen it since 2004. It would be nice to play in front of them."
[Detroit Free Press]