Astros ace Justin Verlander struck out 11 in six impressive innings to inspire Houston to a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees in its AL Championship Series opener on Wednesday.

The 39-year-old pitcher set a major league record in the process, with his eighth postseason double-digit strikeout game of his career.

Now on 219, he is also the all-time leader in playoff strikeouts, overtaking Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

“As the game is going along, you just gain more confidence as you start making better pitches,” Verlander told reporters after Game 1.

“Once I started being able to execute my pitches the way I wanted, I feel like my confidence just kind of built upon that.”