There has been do doubt among baseball followers for some time that Justin Verlander would win this year’s AL Cy Young Award. The question remains whether his magnificent season will earn him MVP honors as well.
The Detroit Tigers ace blew away the competition by winning pitching’s Triple Crown, leading the league in victories with a 24-5 record, ERA at 2.40 and strikeouts with 250. Verlander also pitched the most innings (251) and finished with the best WHIP – walks plus hits per innings pitched – at 0.92.
He received all 28 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, for a perfect score of 196 points. The Los Angeles Angels’ Jered Weaver came in second with 96 points and the Tampa Bay Rays’ James Shields was third with 66.
On top of becoming baseball’s 12th Triple Crown winner in the last 50 years, Verlander threw his second career no-hitter on May 7 against the Toronto Blue Jays – only a walk kept him from a perfect game – and took two other no-hit bids into the eighth inning.
Verlander, 28, has been a dominant pitcher since his Rookie of the Year season in 2006, winning at least 17 games every season except 2008 and leading the league in wins, innings and strikeouts in 2009.