|Photo Credit: tv20detroit.com|
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Verlander first to 20 Wins
It wasn't pretty, but Justin Verlander won his 8th straight start making him Major League Baseball's first 20 game winner this season. The Tigers Ace was touched up for back-to-back solo home runs in the 5th and surrendered two more runs in the 6th, but he was bailed out by his offense as the Tigers retook the lead in the top of the 7th and held on to defeat Minnesota 6-5. It marked the first time in nearly a decade that a pitcher has reached 20 wins before the beginning of September. Curt Schilling was the last pitcher to accomplish the feat doing so in 2002. It is also marked a career high for Verlander whose previous best was 19 wins back in 2009.
As Verlander continues to win games, and as Detroit begins to pull away in the AL Central (the division lead is currently 7 games), the MVP buzz surrounding him will only continue. I still think he's going to have to do something really special to be able to sway the voters who don't believe pitchers are worthy of winning the award, but if you've been watching what he's been doing lately, you have to realize that he's already having a really special season. He hasn't lost a game since July 15th against the White Sox and it's not inconceivable that he could win 24+ games. His next start is schedule to be on Thursday against the Royals where it's looking like he'll face off against 22 year old rookie Danny Duffy. Verlander is already 3-0 against Kansas City this season with a 1.59 ERA allowing just 13 hits in 22 1/3 innings.