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Astros ace Justin Verlander heads to 15-day IL with calf strain

Here’s how Verlander’s injury impacts Houston.

Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Minute Maid Park on August 28, 2022 in Houston, Texas. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros have placed their ace Justin Verlander on the 15-day IL with a calf strain, per the team’s official Twitter page. Verlander was the favorite to win the 2022 AL Cy Young Award before the IL stint.

Verlander has started 23 games this season and has a 16-3 record with a 1.84 ERA. His record is tied for the best in the league, but he ranks first in both ERA and WHIP. Verlander has the 13th most strikeouts in the majors. He suffered the injury on Sunday, August 28, against the Baltimore Orioles. He could only pitch three innings and gave up three hits while striking out six.

The Astros have called up relief pitcher Brandon Bielak in a corresponding move. The hope is that Verlander can come off the IL as soon as his 15-days are up. Houston didn’t feel the need to call up a replacement, which is a good sign.