Justin Verlander vs Max Scherzer: The battle of the Living Legends has come to an end. The team’s ups and downs have been mirrored by the two legends.
바카라사이트The Houston Astros-Texas Rangers game at Globe Rifle Field on July 7 was a major story in mainstream American news. That’s because the focus was on the legendary matchup rather than the American League West race between the two teams.
Verlander, 40, and Scherzer have been in cahoots with the New York Mets this year. It was their first reunion in seven years, after reaching the World Series with the Detroit Tigers from 2011-2014. But after spending big in the offseason, the Mets abandoned the season and traded Scherzer to the Texas Rangers and Verlander to his hometown Houston Astros.
After the trade, they became enemies. The two legends won three Cy Young Awards, which alone makes them Hall of Famers. Verlander also won the MVP award. In addition, they”re both power pitchers who have struck out more than 3,000 batters. Scherzer is 11th all-time with 3,365 and Verlander is 13th all-time with 3,317.
This is the first time since Sept. 17, 2007, that pitchers with 3,000 career strikeouts have faced each other in a start. It was Roger Clemens of the New York Yankees against Curt Schilling of the Boston Red Sox. In that matchup, the Yankees’ Clemens allowed one run on two hits and three walks with four strikeouts in six innings, while Schilling took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and two walks in 7.2 innings. Clemens took the no-decision and the Yankees won 4-3.
The Verlander-Scherzer matchup ended in the third inning, just like the day before. The Houston offense pounded Scherzer (12-6, 3.91) for seven runs on six hits, including three home runs, with two walks and four strikeouts. Verlander (11-7, 3.23) held Texas to two runs (one earned) on four hits (one homer) with one walk and six strikeouts in seven innings to lead the Astros to a 12-3 victory.
Houston, which hit six arches the day before, including three by Jose Altuve, had five cannons on the day, including a grand slam by Jose Abreu. Abreu had seven RBIs with a multi-homer game and three doubles. Houston has scored 39 runs and committed 10 errors in the three games.
Texas Rangers starter Max Scherzer was tagged for seven runs in three innings against Justin Verlander. AP
Texas second baseman Marcus Simien stole a solo home run (No. 21) in the first inning. Right fielder Adolis Garcia hit his knee on the fence while chasing a home run by Houston left fielder Michael Brantley in the second inning and had to be removed from the game. Garcia is an irreplaceable hitter with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs.
Texas started the season tied for first place on March 31 and held the AL West lead and co-lead until August 26. Since Aug. 16, however, they have gone 4-15, the worst record among MLB’s 30 teams, and their wild-card spot is in jeopardy. At 76-63 on the season, the Rangers have fallen to third place in the AL West and a half-game behind the third-place Toronto Blue Jays for the AL Wild Card.
Texas’ recent struggles have been total. Through 19 games, their starting ERA is 5.33, 22nd in MLB, and their bullpen is 7.29, 29th. The bullpen has converted just two of 12 save opportunities.
By comparison, defending World Series champion Houston hovered in the low 5s before surging in the second half of the season, moving into first place in the division (80-61) for the first time this season with a sweep of Texas. They have the talent. The experts are picking Houston to win the district. With a weak bullpen, Texas has the least chance. Even a wild-card berth is a long shot.
“You can’t win a pennant in April,” is an adage in Major League Baseball. Texas looks like the target.