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Justin Verlander has thrown 100+ pitches in 40 straight starts

Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 05: Pitcher Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers delivers a pitch in the second inning during the MLB game against Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 5, 2011 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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Justin Verlander shut down the Twins last night, holding Minnesota to one run in eight innings while improving to 13-5 with a 2.24 ERA.

He also threw 126 pitches, which would be a noteworthy workload for just about anyone but Verlander, as he’s thrown at least 125 pitches five times this season and has yet to throw fewer than 100 pitches in a start this season.

In fact, as Brandon Warne of Fan Graphs points out Verlander has now thrown at least 100 pitches in 40 consecutive starts dating back to the middle of last season.

Pitch count data is only available going back a couple decades, but Verlander’s streak of 40 straight 100-pitch outings is the most of any pitcher during that time. Via the always amazing Play Index here’s the leaderboard for consecutive 100-pitch starts since 1988:

Randy Johnson 1998-1999 38
Randy Johnson 1992-1993 37
Felix Hernandez 2009-2010 32
Randy Johnson 1999-2000 30
Carlos Zambrano 2005-2006 30

At the risk of taking attention away from Verlander’s remarkable feat: Randy Johnson was ridiculous.

Last time Verlander failed to throw at least 100 pitches was June 22 of last season, when the Mets chased him from the game after two innings. And before that he’d gone 12 straight starts with 100-plus pitches, so Verlander has now thrown at least 100 pitches in 52 of his last 53 outings, during which time he’s 31-14 with a 2.73 ERA and 372 strikeouts in 379 innings.