Verlander sets career postseason strikeout mark

HOUSTON — Astros pitcher Justin Verlander broke John Smoltz’s career mark for strikeouts during the postseason during Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night.

Verlander struck out Nationals outfielder Victor Robles in the second inning for his 200th postseason strikeout, surpassing the mark of 199 set by Smoltz, whose last career appearance in the postseason was in 2009. Smoltz was at Minute Maid Park for the game, working the national telecast for Fox.

Verlander set the mark after another rocky beginning in a World Series outing, a recurring issue for him during his accomplished career. Verlander entered the game 0-4 with a 5.67 ERA in five World Series starts. On Wednesday, he gave up a two-run double in the first inning to Washington’s Anthony Rendon.

Houston tied the game in the bottom of the inning on Alex Bregman’s two-run homer.

Verlander entered the game tied for third in career postseason wins with 14. Wednesday’s game was Verlander’s 30th postseason appearance.

Following Verlander and Smoltz on the postseason strikeout list is Andy Pettitte (183) and Roger Clemens (173).

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