With each passing start, Justin Verlander is making his 2018 season look even better than his MVP campaign of 2011.
The Houston Astros right-hander was utterly dominant on Wednesday while tossing a five-hit shutout of the Los Angeles Angels, and added to his growing Hall of Fame case by collecting career strikeout No. 2,500 during the Astros' 2-0 victory.
Verlander became the 33rd member of the 2,500-K club when he struck out Shohei Ohtani to begin the ninth inning.
He's the sixth-fastest pitcher to reach 2,500 strikeouts, getting there in his 395th career start. Among active pitchers, only CC Sabathia (2,874) has more punchouts than Verlander.
But the milestone strikeout wasn't the only moment Verlander was celebrating on this night. He made swift work of an Angels lineup that often looked helpless against him, scattering five hits across seven strikeouts while walking just one over 118 pitches en route to his eighth career shutout - his first since 2015, which also came against the Angels - and 24th complete game. The outing lowered Verlander's ERA to a league-best 1.05, alongside a 0.71 WHIP, and he's averaging 11 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Verlander's incredible 2018 season through 10 starts
* indicates league leader
Since joining the Astros in a trade from the Detroit Tigers last August, Verlander owns a 1.36 ERA, 0.725 WHIP, and has struck out 165 batters in 21 total appearances, both in the regular season and playoffs.
Copyright © 2018 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.