Verlander is still good: 47th on career strikeout list

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Aug 9, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) tips his hat to the crowd as he walks off the field after the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

In his career, Justin Verlander has thrown 2,356 strikeouts in 378 starts over 13 seasons, putting him at 47th on the all-time list. Forty more and the right-hander will be tied with Sandy Koufax (44th). Koufax threw 2,396 strikeouts with the Dodgers — in Brooklyn and then Los Angeles — in 314 games over 12 seasons. Nolan Ryan leads the list with a whopping 5,714 career strikeouts.

In Sunday’s win against the Dodgers, the Detroit Tigers‘ ace went eight innings with nine strikeouts and just one run on two hits. In fact, JV didn’t allow a hit until the sixth when his former teammate Curtis Granderson took him deep for a home run. The Tigers went on to win the game 6-1.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen vintage Verlander this month. In fact, on August 4, the righty veteran went seven innings and struck out 10 against the Baltimore Orioles, giving up just two runs in the team’s 5-2 victory. Five days later, Justin went eight innings giving up one hit and no runs in a 10-0 rout over the Pittsburg Pirates.

Oct 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves in the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

With all of the trade rumors milling about, the former Cy Young winner has admitted he’s got a lot on his mind. But aside from a loss to Texas Rangers on August 15, when he gave up five runs in six innings (while striking out eight), Verlander has been throwing playoff-quality stuff.

Perhaps the Tigers starter is making a bid for himself to make it to the postseason, but he hasn’t quit doing his job or playing the game. Having passed through waivers already, Verlander is eligible for the August 31 trade deadline.

On the season, the former MVP and Rookie of the Year is averaging nine strikeouts per nine innings with a 3.96 ERA. At this rate, we could see him pass Koufax on the career strikeout list before the end of this season. We expect to see Verlander go against the White Sox in Chicago on Friday at 8:10 (ET).