Lance Berkman: “the AL is Mickey Mouse”

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A day after saying that the Cardinals lineup was more dangerous than the Giants, Lance Berkman wades back into analysis.

His initial take: that the Tigers should be favored because their rotation is set up while Cain and Vogelsong won’t get to pitch until the series goes back to Detroit and they have to face a DH. He doesn’t mention that the DH is probably Delmon Young, but that’s a minor detail.

About DHs in general, though:

Berkman has spent all but three months of his career in the NL. He played three months for the Yankees in 2010.

“It only cemented my opinion that the AL is Mickey Mouse and the National League is real baseball,” he said. “I hate the DH, even though it might prolong my career.”

I like to note these things because (a) while I wouldn’t go as far as Berkman does here I do prefer NL baseball; and (b) I also realize that, within the next 15-20 years or so, MLB is probably going to put the DH in the NL too, and I’d like to save this sort of stuff for posterity.

Video: Justin Verlander reaches career mark with 270th strikeout

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Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.

Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.

Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.

After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.