Verlander captures AL Cy Young
By SPORTS NETWORK
|Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was the unanimous choice for the AL Cy Young Award on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011. (REUTERS/Mike Cassese)
NEW YORK - Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander was a unanimous selection on Tuesday when the Baseball Writers' Association of America named their American League Cy Young Award winner.
Verlander placed first on all 28 ballots cast by two writers from each AL city to garner a total of 196 points based on a tabulation system that rewards seven points for first place, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim righty Jered Weaver finished second with 97 points, while Tampa's James Shields was third with 66 points.
Verlander, the AL's ninth unanimous selection and first since Minnesota's Johan Santana in 2006, becomes the third different Tigers pitcher to win this award and the first since reliever Willie Hernandez in 1984. Denny McLain also won back-to-back Cy Young Awards for the Tigers in 1968 and '69, the first of which came in unanimous fashion.
The 28-year-old flamethrower, who also figures to finish among the leaders in AL MVP voting, was the 12th pitcher in the last 50 years to win pitching's Triple Crown this past season, as he led the league in wins (24), ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250). He is the first AL pitcher to accomplish the feat since Santana in '06 and the first Tigers hurler to do it since Hal Newhouser in 1945.
Verlander's 24 wins were the most in the league since Bob Welch won 27 for the 1990 Athletics. He also led AL pitchers with 251 innings, a .192 opposing batting average and a 0.92 WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) ratio.
Verlander, who won his final 12 starts and was 14-1 within the American League Central for the division champion Tigers, also tossed a no-hitter and came close on several other occasions.
The AL's Rookie of the Year in 2006, Verlander becomes the first player to win both awards.
Weaver, the only other pitcher named on every ballot, was 18-8 this past season despite having the league's second-lowest run support. His 2.41 ERA was second only to Verlander and he actually had a chance to pass him had he opted to make his final start.
Shields, meanwhile, led the majors with 11 complete games and was tied for the American League lead with four shutouts.
Rounding out the top five were New York's CC Sabathia (63 points) and Tigers' closer Jose Valverde (28 points).