Justin Verlander won the AL Cy Young on Tuesday with a unanimous 28 votes.
It’s not surprising that the 28 year-old won the Cy Young, nor is it surprising that he won it unanimously.
In a 28 vote romp, Verlander became the first pitcher to win both the AL Cy Young and the Rookie of the Year award in his career. The honor has been bestowed numerous times in the senior circuit, but this is the first time it has happened in the AL.
Not only did Verlander win the pitching Triple Crown, he also led the league in opposing batting average at around .190. To give you an idea, that’s around 2 hits per 10 hitters, a phenomenal rate.
Also, according to sabermetric pitching stats Verlander had no cheap wins, meaning he earned all of them. Then there is the fact that of his 5 losses on the year, four were ‘tough’ losses. That’s right four. All in all he kept Detroit in games and won a good portion of them, which is what you want your ace to do.
The voters filled out their numerous ballots with the likes of Jered Weaver. James Shields, CC Sabathia, Jose Valverde, CJ Wilson, Dan Haren, Mariano Rivera, Josh Beckett, Ricky Romero, and David Robertson, in that order.
While it’s not surprising to see shutdown closers such as Valverde and Rivera on the ballot it is odd to see a guy like Robertson, who on some days pitched the 7th inning for the Bronx Bombers. None the less, Robertson did have an outstanding year. I’m not discrediting that, but he was a 7th inning reliever.
There aren’t many other surprises on the ballot. It’s nice to see Valverde credited for his outstanding season, seeing as some people or publications had Mariano Rivera as the best closer. Outside of the fact that Rivera blew 5 more saves the Valverde, Papa Grande had an ERA of 0.52 in 52 innings when it was a save opportunity. When you can count the number of runs you allow in a single season of save opportunities on one hand, you know it’s a good year closer wise.