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Justin Verlander fastest to 20 wins since ’02 Curt Schilling

Aug 27, 2011, 8:02 PM EDT

verlander reuters Reuters

It wasn’t his prettiest outing, but Tigers ace Justin Verlander became the first major league pitcher of the 2011 baseball season to reach the 20-win plateau in Saturday afternoon’s 6-4 victory over the Twins.

Verlander yielded eight hits and four runs, and at one point allowed back-to-back homers to light-hitting Twins reserves Luke Hughes and Jason Repko, but he eventually settled in. The 28-year-old right-hander finished the start with six strikeouts and three walks, throwing 76 of his 120 pitches for strikes.

Verlander is the first pitcher to win 20 games before the end of August since Curt Schilling accomplished the feat for the Diamondbacks in 2002. Verlander is now sporting a 20-5 record, 2.38 ERA and 0.90 WHIP through 29 starts this season. He also has 218 strikeouts in 215 2/3 innings, and has walked just 48 batters.

While Angels ace Jered Weaver deserves consideration, Verlander is the clear favorite for the American League Cy Young Award with around five weeks to go. Verlander could also draw some MVP consideration.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2011 at 8:20 PM

    Great game by Luke Hughes. Congratulations to Verlander even though he bailed out by the Twins pitchers in this one. He was due for a so so effort. Cy Young for sure. MVP? No way!

    • flavadave10 - Aug 28, 2011 at 1:05 AM

      Curtis Granderson went oh-fer on Friday. Better keep him out of MVP discussions too!!!!!

    • ftbramwell - Aug 28, 2011 at 3:30 PM

      Why no MVP? Who’s more valuable in the American league than a guy who will give you 7+ innings of lock down ball?

      • flavadave10 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:42 PM

        And for the record, Verlander faces more batters than any batter will get plate appearances. So there goes the “oh pitchers don’t have as much of an impact on the game as batters do” argument. He’s an interesting choice. Right now, I’d go with Curtis Granderson. A-Gonz is heating up at the right time though, he could make it interesting.

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