No need for my usual artsy-fartsy game recap.
Tonight Justin Verlander completed a nine inning, complete game shutout of the Los Angeles Angels, leading the Houston Astros to a 2-0 victory, and a 2-1 victory in the series.
The Angels and Astros are tied 3-3 in their season match-up, but the Astros have taken a two game lead in the AL West.
Verlander had impeccable command tonight, throwing 118 pitches, 79 for strikes. He only walked one, that was in the ninth inning, and he struck out seven, including Shohei Ohtani three times.
Verlander preserved his shutout despite a formidable Angels threat in the eighth. With men on second and third and one out, Verlander struck out pinch hitter Luis Valbuena, and then induced a weak groundout from MIKE TROUT to end the inning.
It was also a night for personal milestones for Justin. He got his 2500th career strikeout, which ranks him 2nd among active players behind C. C. Sabathia, and 33rd all-time.
Verlander lowered his league leading ERA to an incredible 1.05!
The Astros scoring came with one mighty lumberjack swing of the bat, a two run Evan Gattis home run, his 4th of the season, and 3rd in 5 games.
Though the Astros managed to win, the offense continued its struggles, managing just 5 hits. In the series the Astros averaged 6 hits per game. The potent Angels however managed just 5 runs total for the series against Astros pitching. Mike Trout had no hits in the series, and in two games Ohtani had only 1.
The following chart tracks the velocity of Verlander’s pitches, and as is his wont, he saved his best for last, pitch 118.
Box score here.
Watch Gattis’ home run here.
Watch Verlander strike outs here
Astros next play at home against Cleveland on Friday.