Justin Verlander turns 30 today.
After all he has done as a pitcher in his 20s, how does he envision his 30s?
"I envision them being better," Verlander said Tuesday. "Why not?"
He says this based on his health -- he has learned how to take care of himself and pace himself -- and his experience. Plus, his first season came when he was 23. It's easy to see him making more starts in his 30s than in his 20s.
If Verlander only matches in his 30s what he has done in his 20s, he'll have had a tremendous career. If one takes his current career totals and doubles them, these would be his final career totals:
• A record of 248-130. If Verlander stayed with the Detroit Tigers long enough, he would break the club record of 223 wins, set by Hooks Dauss in 1912-26.
• Four no-hitters. The only pitchers with four no-hitters are Nolan Ryan (seven) and Sandy Koufax (four).
• 464 starts. If he makes them all for the Tigers, he would set a club mark, easing past Mickey Lolich's 459.
• 2,908 strikeouts. If he gets most of them with the Tigers, he'd break Lolich's club record of 2,679. If Verlander's 30s are better than his 20s, he could reach 3,000 strikeouts, attained by 16 pitchers.
• 3.40 ERA. It's the fourth-lowest among Tigers pitchers with at least 1,500 innings in the nearly 100 years since the Dead Bell Era. Ahead of Verlander, according to Baseball-Reference.com, are Hal Newhouser (3.07), Denny McLain (3.13) and Dizzy Trout (3.20), but none pitched in the era of the designated hitter.
Tigers' Justin Verlander better in his 30s than his 20s? 'Why not?'
Detroit Free Press | Feb 20