Justin Verlander sets new all-time record with 200th postseason strikeout

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Justin Verlander‘s fourth strikeout of the night, on a Victor Robles foul tip in the second inning of World Series Game 2, marked the 200th in the veteran’s postseason career. It broke a tie with John Smoltz to set a new record for the most career postseason strikeouts. Andy Pettitte is third on the list at 183 followed by Roger Clemens at 173 and Clayton Kershaw at 170.

Verlander was against the ropes immediately, allowing the first three batters he faced in the first inning to reach base. Two scored, but Verlander was able to bounce back and escape the inning without any further damage. His second inning was much cleaner, working around only a one-out single.

Verlander entered Wednesday’s action with a career 3.26 ERA in the postseason across 176 2/3 innings. It’s his 30th postseason start and his sixth in the World Series.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.