Blog Entry

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

Posted on: November 15, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: November 16, 2011 5:39 am

By Evan Brunell

In a season for the ages, Justin Verlander took home the AL Cy Young Award on Tuesday, winning the award unanimously, just the fourth pitcher in the AL to do so.

It was a no-brainer decision for voters after Verlander racked up a 2.40 ERA, good enough to lead the American League. He did so in 251 innings, which led all of baseball. Verlander's accomplishments don't stop there -- he also led baseball in wins, racking up 24 against five losses, and also was tops in the game in strikeouts (250) and WHIP, sinking under 1.00 and finishing at .920.

The last pitcher to have a WHIP under 1.00 and strike out at least 250 batters was in 2004, when three pitchers accomplished the feat in Ben Sheets, Johan Santana and Randy Johnson. But if you add in at least 250 innings pitched, there have only been two pitchers since 1986 to accomplish that feat. Curt Schilling with the Diamondbacks in 2002 is the only other man left standing with Verlander.

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Once you factor in ERA, Verlander stands alone in how dominant he was. Schilling's 3.23 ERA was very good for the offensive climate of 2002, but even Schilling doesn't compare with Verlander in how dominant over and above the average pitcher Verlander was. Mike Scott in 1986 and Dwight Gooden in 1985 are the only pitchers since the 1970s to put together a total package of accomplishments like Verlander did. In fact, Verlander is now the first AL pitcher to win both Rookie of the Year and Cy Young in a career. The feat has been accomplished five times in the NL, but it is an AL first.

While Gooden didn't toss any no-hitters during his transcendent season, Scott did, blanking the Giants on Sept. 25. Verlander can match that feat, as he tossed his second career no-hitter on May 7, taking out the Blue Jays. Verlander walked just one and faced the minimum 27 batters. In his next start, he had a no-hitter until the sixth inning. In total, Verlander had 15 2/3 innings of consecutive no-hit ball. It wasn't the last time he would flirt with a no-hitter, taking one into the eighth inning on June 14 and July 31.

Verlander's victory gives the Tigers their first Cy Young since 1984, when closer Willie Hernandez took home the honor. Verlander's unanimous selection marks the 18th such time in baseball it has occurred. The first time it happened was with a fellow Tiger, with Denny McLain the obvious victor in 1968, two years after baseball decided to give the award to one pitcher in each league. The Cy Young had previously been awarded to one pitcher upon inception in 1956. The NL also made its first unanimous selection in 1968, handing the distinction to Bob Gibson.

With Verlander, there are six pitchers who can boast unanimous victories in the AL, with Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana all winning the award unanimously twice. McLain and Ron Guidry are the other AL hurlers with unanimous selections. Verlander will earn an additional $500,000 on top of his $12.75 million salary as a result of the victory.

The Angels' Jered Weaver (18-8, 2.41) finished second with 97 points, the only other pitcher to be named on each ballot. James Shields of the Rays had 66 points, finishing third. He is followed by CC Sabathia of the Yankees with 63 points, and Tigers closer Jose Valverde rounded out the top five with 28 points.

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Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 20, 2011 4:03 am
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Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: November 18, 2011 7:51 am

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

You are right about those pitchers pitching in a different era,but if any pitcher deserved the MVP it was Guidry.I agree Verlander
was the best pitcher by far,and No one has put up those numbers in years.But do you honestly think that 
someone who plays once every 5 days deserve to be nominated for the MVP.
i've heard arguments that make sense to both sides, whether a pitcher should be considered for MVP or not.  Personally, I don't see why I pitcher couldn't be considered for MVP, as they hold more control over whether a team wins a game or not, than any single position player.  You can argue they only affect the game every 5 days, but in reality, pitchers like Verlander, CC, Holliday, etc. -- they actually affect 3 games for their teams.  The bullpen can be maxed out the day before they pitch as you know they are going to give you 7 innings at least, and will be able to rest the next day.  With that day off when those pitchers take the mound -- the bullpen is ready to pitch again in the games after they start.

i think you would have to have alot of things go right for a pitcher to win the MVP nowadays.  Here are a couple of them:

1. you would have to have a year where there was monster years by an offensive player -- this year, there really wasn't a clear cut MVP in the AL

2. you would have to take your team to the playoffs -- which Verlander was a huge reason Detroit made it to where they did

3. you would have to have an astronomical years for a pitcher -- Verlander led not only the AL, but the MLB in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, WHIP and opp BA, as well as 1st in the AL in era and 3rd overall in the MLB.

personally -- i'd rather see Cabrera win the MVP, as he puts up monster numbers every year as teams pitch around him.  He led the league in BA, OBP and doubles.  had over 110 walks, 110 runs scored and over 100 rbi's, as well as 30 homeruns, while playing in one of the biggest parks in the MLB.  also, when the season was on the line over the last two months of the season -- he over .400 for those two months. 

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 7:49 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Mar 6, 2008
Posted on: November 17, 2011 7:44 am

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

He should also win the MVP. No way Tigers make the playoffs without him. 

Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 11:07 pm

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

1985 Dwight Gooden

1.53 ERA
268 KO
16 CG
8 SHO 

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:17 pm
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Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:21 pm

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

As my screen name indicates, I'm a diehard Yankee fan.....There's NO way CC Sabathia should have won the CYA...Ru serious?? Everyone on here who said that is on serious medication....While CC had a very good year...Verlander was just plain LIGHTS OUT....Without a doubt he was the best pitcher in the AL....Heck, he was the pitcher PERIOD this year....Hands down....Congrats to Justin....You more than deserved that award....

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:37 pm

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

Yeah but you're a well known idiot on this board and your opinion doesn't matter. 

LOL   It's amazing to hear or read somebody say that 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeout in about 250 innings isn't MVP like but whatever, I don't care what anybody thinks anymore.  He's going to get some votes for MVP.... we'll see if he wins it or not.

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 5:38 pm

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

Congratulations to Justin for his outstanding season. A threat to throw a no-hitter everytime he touches the ball, and only getting better. It should be interesting to see what the out come of the MVP ballot will be, regardless JV is a great pitcher and the tigers are lucky to have him.

Since: May 29, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 2:49 pm

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

There have actually been 20 pitchers who have won the Mvp The last being DENNIS ECKERSLEY who had an amazing 51 saves.
He also won 7 games with 1 loss.In 80 innings he struck out 93 batters and had a 1.91 era.

In 1986 Roger Clemens won 21 games and lost 7 with 292 k's and a 2.05 era
Koufax went 25 and 5 with 306 k's and a 1.88 era.

Verlander had a great year,24 aqnd 5 but 250 k's and an era of 2.40 is not MVP like.

Guidry went 25-3 with 9 shutouts,248 k's and a miniscule era of 1.74 and did not win the MVP.

I am a firm believer that a pitcher who plays once every 5 days should not even be considered 
for the Mvp.

I think it is a tough year to pick an AL MVP.Cano,Tex and Grandy from the Yankees,Ellsbury,
Gonzo and Pedroia from the Sox's,Cabrera from the Tigers and Baustista from the Jays.

the pitchers you mentioned pitched in a different era.  very few pitchers in history had a year like verlander had this year.  just a few stats to put out there for you:

wins 24 -- 1st in the MLB
era 2.40 -- 1st in AL, 3rd in the MLB
IP 251 -- 1st in the MLB
SO 250 -- 1st in the MLB
WHIP 0.92 -- 1st in the MLB
OPP BA .197 -- 1st in the MLB  
won the triple crown for pitchers in the AL (wins, strikeouts, era)
threw a no-hitter against the blue jays
two other games took a no-hitter into the 8th inning
one game took a no-hitter into the 7th inning

if Verlander had put these stats up in the NL, where he gets the chance to face a pitcher a couple times a game -- I would say it was an unreal year, but MVP is out of the question.  until Detroit picked up Fister -- Detroit was in 1st place when our 2-5 starters were 1 game UNDER.500 on the year.  This was in JULY.

For the love of god -- HOW could you possibly mention Mark Texiera for MVP???  The guy hit UNDER .250.  Same thing is going to kill Granderson -- he only hit .262.  The lowest BA ever for a MVP in the AL -- Roger Maris in 1961.  Grandy won't win MVP.  AGon and Pedroia will not win MVP.  The MVP will come down two tigers (Cabrera and Verlander), bautista and Cano.

My pick for AL MVP -- Cabrera.
Led the league in BA at .344, led the league in OBP at .449, finished 2nd in the league BA w/RISP at .390, led the league in doubles with 48, 2nd in the league in walks and IBB -- finished 4th in runs scored w/ 111 (as the cleanup hitter).  still hit 30 hrs and drove in 110+ rbis.  one of only two players with OPS of over 1.000

no player who took their team to the playoffs put up the numbers across the board that Cabrera did.  Only problem is -- Verlander could steal some votes from him.  Biggest joke so far in the MLB Awards -- AGon getting the Silver Slugger for 1B in the AL. 

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