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 16, 2011 1:38 pm
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Since: Feb 29, 2008
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:28 pm

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

Rea;;y? Who had a shot to beat him out not a single player

Since: Jan 16, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:53 am

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

Because we dont need more celebrity laden, corporate sponsored sideshows.

Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 10:09 am

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

I am a firm believer that a pitcher who plays once every 5 days should not even be considered
for the Mvp.
Yeah but you're a well known idiot on this board and your opinion doesn't matter.

Since: Feb 23, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:45 am

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

just remove the guys comment about CC, he's not a baseball fan, oviously he bummed that the WNBA isnt on

Since: Oct 18, 2006
Posted on: November 16, 2011 9:30 am

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

Can someone explain why MLB does not have a "ESPY" type night for an hour or 2 in primetime to give out all it's awards at once?  leaking them out over 2 weeks is ridiculous.

Since: Dec 3, 2007
Posted on: November 16, 2011 7:27 am

It's unanimous: Verlander claims AL Cy Young

My problem is with the the rules or criteria established that sportswriters must use when choosing an MVP. Ken Rosenthal stated that the second criteria...something about playing defense or contributing to your teams defense does not apply to pitchers. I'm a Detroit guy and Justin is our backbone. Just trying to state the fairness (or unfairness) of this process without bias. My point is MLB is UNCLEAR or the writers don't follow the criteria when voting for the MVP.  Pitchers based on the criteria shouldn't even be considered.  And justly so, I believe it ought to go to an everyday player especially since pitchers have their own award and everyday players are not considered for the Cy Young.  For the record, I tried to Google the exact criteria writers use when choosing the MVP but was unable to find it.

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 16, 2011 1:16 am
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: November 16, 2011 12:31 am

Verlander wins AL Cy Young Award unanimously

Would love to see JV win the MVP but really how are pitchers winning this award when one of the guidelines states the player must have a contribution on the defensive side of the game. Not sure of the wording but the criteria doesn't fit for pitchers to win the MVP just like the criteria doesn't fit for everyday players to win the Cy Young award.  

Technically you could say a pitcher makes a contribution to the defensive side of the game, but that really doesn't matter.  Nobody wins MVP because of their D.... they win MVP because they put up monster numbers.  Normally it's offensive numbers that win MVP but 24 wins with incredible stats across the board will get JV some MVP votes.

I think the MVP vote is going to be very close... I have no idea who's going to win it.  But I'm willing to bet he gets some votes. Enough to win? Probably not.  But if there is ever going to be an exception where a pitcher wins it, it's for the 2011 season.  If JV doesn't win it they should officially remove pitchers from the conversation and make it a rule they can't win it.  I don't know the next time you're going to see a guy win 24 games with an era of 2.40, 150 innings, a ton of strikeouts, great whip, etc.

Those things are almost impossible to do....  I'm not saying JV should win MVP.... just saying if he doesn't, then when will a pitcher ever win it?  Does a pitcher need 30 wins in 33 starts?  

Never gonna happen..

Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: November 15, 2011 11:20 pm
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