They combined for 467 wins, 6,118.2 innings pitched, six Cy Young Awards and five no-hitters, but the Astros’ Justin Verlander and the Rangers’ Max Scherzer never met. That will change when the two future Hall of Famers start the final game of the Astros-Rangers series in Arlington on Wednesday.
Verlander had a hunch that a matchup with Scherzer would finally materialize when the pair were traded from the Mets to the Lone Star State in July and entered the AL West main game, but it didn’t. It’s about Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning. Magic Johnson vs. Larry Bird. This is history.
“I think we’ve all been around long enough to understand the nature of the business,” Wieland said. “I think it’s exciting. It’s not often in baseball that you have a matchup between two players who have had the same career as he and I do. I think it’s exciting for the baseball world, it’s exciting for us. It’s exciting to say, and I’m sure it’s exciting for him too. Let’s hope.”
Verlander, 40 (254 wins) and Scherzer, 39 (213 wins), are first and third among active pitchers in wins and second and third in the standings, behind Zahar G Greenk (3,370). Number of innings thrown between assets. Verlander has thrown 3,292.1 career innings and Scherzer has thrown 2,826.1 innings.
“It’s going to be fun,” Scherzer said. “Like my entire career, I’ve got to face all the best pitchers in the world, and I’ve got to play with all the best baseball players in the world. I’ve been playing Verlander for a while, so with He’s going to be fun to play against. But for me, I’m playing against his lineup, but it’s not necessarily me playing against him. We’re not playing against each other. But no, it’s going to be fun to play against him.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marks the first time in history that two former Cy Young champions start a season as teammates and meet later in the same season on two different teams. According to Elias, here are some more facts about the Verlander-Scherzer matchup:
— Since Scherzer (three) vs. Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (three) on April 11, 2021, this is the first matchup in which both starters have won at least three Cy Young awards.
— It’s the first game in which both starting pitchers have earned at least 3,000 strikeout game.
— It was the first time between two pitchers with at least 200 wins since May 6, 2015, between CC Sabathia of the Yankees (208) and Mark Buehrle of the Blue Jays (202).
– The last starting pitcher matchup with 467 wins was September 19, 2008 (476 wins) between Dodgers’ Greg Maddux (354 wins) and Giants’ Barry Zito (122 wins) in between.