Justin Verlander’s season stats shine like a work of art.
His 15-3 record is dazzling. His 1.73 ERA is league-leading. His 0.85 WHIP is minuscule. And his 130 innings pitched are impressive -- and might end up being the most important in the grand scheme of things.
With his six-inning scoreless start in Houston’s 6-0 win over Cleveland on Thursday, Verlander reached that 130 innings mark, triggering his $25 million player option for 2023.
“I wasn't pitching to get to 130 innings,” Verlander said after the game. “When we we were doing the contract, [Astros owner] Jim [Crane] told me they wanted 130 innings for my player option. I was asking for a straight player option and they said they’d like 130 innings, and that was that. I thought that was a very fair number the way I like to pitch.”