Justin Verlander picks up 200th win, Astros avoid sweep and regain lead in AL West standings
Verlander pitched the Astros to a big win in Oakland on Sunday
The Astros defeated the Athletics in Oakland on Sunday (HOU 9, OAK 4) and in doing so moved back into first place in the AL West by a single game over those same A's. Houston ace Justin Verlander wasn't his vintage self -- four runs allowed in 5 1/3 innings -- but thanks to run support and good bullpen work behind him he was able notch the win. That happened to be No. 200 for his career.
Earlier this season, Verlander recorded his 2,500th career strikeout, and now he joins CC Sabathia and Bartolo Colon as the only active pitchers to have at least 200 wins and 2,500 strikeouts. He's the 117th pitcher in MLB history to get to 200 wins.
That's elite company, but this is really elite company ...
Verlander is still pitching at a high level in his age-35 season, so it's likely he'll continue to add to those totals in the seasons to come. He's under contract with Astros through the 2019 season, but there's no reason he can't pitch beyond that assuming health. As this scribe recently wrote, Verlander, provided he experiences a normal decline phase,.
For now, though, he's surely more worried about helping the Astros to the division title. Given that he's still in the mix for the AL Cy Young award this season, he's been doing that and then some.
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