Justin Verlander is now the king of active hits in Major League Baseball.
The 39-year-old ace for the Houston Astros hit a season high with 12 hitters in seven rounds in a 4-1 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park, giving him 3,086 offensive strokes of his career.
The impressive outing led him to overtake former Tigers teammate Max Scherzer in active hitting lead among the bowlers. He also passed by his childhood idol John Smoltz, whom he admired while growing up in Richmond, Virginia watching the Braves.
“I don’t know if Scherzer is important to that because he’s still playing and I’m still playing, and we kind of juggle each other, but Smolze is someone I loved growing up,” Verlander told MLB.com. “Lovely surreal moment to hear that name.”
“It’s great when it’s brought to your attention as it happens,” Verlander continued. “It’s not like you’re counting down or something else. You keep your head down and you keep doing the work and you try to be the best pitcher you can for as long as possible.”
Scherzer, for what it’s worth, has 3,079 career strikes and once the two former Tigers are in good health, they will likely continue to pass the active leader title back and forth. Scherzer is out until early July, so Gee will continue his lead this month.
Verlander became the 33rd bowler in MLS history to hit 2,500 hits in 2018 and thirteenth all-time to hit 3,000kg in 2019. In typical working horse form, he threw the season’s top in 108 throws on Tuesday and earned nine out of 18 flips And he erred. on its scroll bar.
Next up Verlander? Cleveland and Yankees ex-CC Sabathia, who sits at 3093 career stroke. He could also capture Kurt Schilling, Bob Gibson, Pedro Martinez and Fergie Jenkins and be on the cusp of the top ten by the time the 2022 season ends.
Nolan Ryan is MLB’s all-time leader in the bats, racking up 5,714 Ks during his 27-year career.
Verlander 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 11 starts this season for the first-place Astros.