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Mets starter Justin Verlander becomes 21st pitcher in MLB history to win against all 30 teams

May 11th, 2023

If New York Mets starter Justin Verlander retired before the start of the 2023 MLB season, he would be a Hall of Famer. At this point in his career, Verlander, 40, is still suiting up for two reasons: To win another ring and to cross a few more milestones off his lengthy list of career accomplishments.

Verlander managed to do the latter during Wednesday’s start against the Cincinnati Reds. Verlander threw 7 strong innings against Cincinnati, giving up just 1 run on 2 hits. He issued 2 walks, struck out 7 and picked up the 2-1 win.

With that win, Verlander became the 21st pitcher in MLB history to be credited with a win against all 30 teams. Prior to Verlander, Gerrit Cole was the last pitcher to accomplish that feat. He picked up a win against his former club, the Houston Astros, in 2021. That game Cole at least one win against all 30 MLB teams.

Being a member of this exclusive club doesn’t guarantee a player will make the Hall of Fame. Verlander is a lock and Cole is well on his way, but other players who did it, such as Javier Vazquez and Woody Williams, didn’t come close.

The list does, however, indicate a few positive things about a pitcher. In order to notch a win against all 30 MLB teams, you have to be pretty decent and you have to have longevity. Vazquez, for example, pitched 14 seasons in the majors. He had an ERA better than the league average in 8 of those seasons.

Justin Verlander continues to put up strong numbers at age-40. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Cole and Verlander make up 2 of the 4 active pitchers to have beaten all 30 MLB teams. Kansas City Royals starter Zack Greinke did it in 2019. Greinke was with the Houston Astros at the time, and notched a win against the Royals to accomplish the feat. Max Scherzer is the only other active pitcher with wins against every MLB team. He managed it in 2016, when he beat his former club, the Detroit Tigers.

There’s a pretty obvious reason why the list of players who accomplished this feat is littered with more recent names. MLB expanded to 30 teams in 1998. The first player to beat all 30 MLB teams was Al Leiter, who started his MLB career in 1987. Free agency was decades old by that point, but it is a necessary piece of the puzzle here.

There’s a chance the list of pitchers who have picked up wins against all 30 MLB teams skyrockets in the years to come. MLB introduced a balanced schedule in 2023, which enables teams to play more games outside their divisions.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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