Justin Verlander really likes pitching against the Yankees.
He used Monday to deliver yet another gem for the Astros against the Baby Bombers as he threw 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in a 5-1 victory. The 35-year-old hurler has now thrown 14 2/3 innings against the Yankees this year while striking out 19.
Since coming over to the Astros, Verlander has gone 3-0 in 30 2/3 innings against the Yankees, with 40 strikeouts and two runs allowed. Yankees fans thought so much of his performance they booed him coming off the field. He was kind enough to tip his cap.
Texas had both good and bad pitching news in the minors on Friday. Joe Palumbo will continue his comeback from Tommy John surgery when he starts for the Arizona League Rangers on Sunday, and Martin Perez (elbow) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment for Class-A Hickory on Monday. On the other hand, prospect Alex Speas is set for Tommy John surgery, and Yohander Mendez — demoted to Triple-A this week for breaking unspecified team rules — was sent all the way down to Class A on Friday. The team said the move was not punitive.
I honestly didn’t know it happened, said Scherzer, who has won back-to-back Cy Young Awards and is one of 10 hurlers to win at least three Cy Youngs. Then I walked off the field and I was like, wait a second, I think that was it. So yeah, that’s cool.
His previous immaculate inning came against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 14, 2017, when he fanned Cesar Hernandez, Odubel Herrera and Aaron Altherr. By repeating the feat, Scherzer joins a select group that includes Baseball Hall of Famers Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson.
Awesome, Scherzer said when informed about the historical context of his feat. It’s just one of those things, it just happened. Just executing pitches. It’s one of those things where, hey, it happened. That’s more to the preparation than anything, and knowing what Seve [catcher Pedro Severino] wanted behind the plate.
Scherzer’s immaculate inning was the second in the majors this season. The Baltimore Orioles’ Kevin Gausman also pulled the feat, needing nine pitches to strike out Cleveland’s Yonder Alonso, Yan Gomes and Bradley Zimmer on April 24.