Tigers Justin Verlander Wins AL Cy Young

justin verlander

The last time a Detroit Tigers pitcher (Willie Hernandez- 1984) won the AL Cy Young award, Justin Verlander was a one year old kid. 27 years later, Justin Verlander won the award, the fourth time in team history.

 

by David Malamut

Verlander had one of those magical years, going 24-5 with a 2.40 era in 34 starts. Pitching four complete games and two shutouts in 251 innings. He would go 14-2 away from Detroit’s Comerica Park and 10-3 at home. THere really isn’t any stat in his 2011 season that is a bad one as he was just dominant throughout the year. He did not have a start where he pitched less than 6 innings, yes he had a few rocky starts but he kept his team in those.

He also is a four time all star, a former Rookie of the Year. In his career has lead the league in wins, innings pitched, winning percentage and strikeouts. Was the second overall pick of the 2004 draft by the Tigers.

In his seven year major league career he already has 107 wins. Having double digit wins in each of his full major league seasons. Justin has been in the post season twice in his career with a 3-3 record and a 5.57 era in 8 games. Pitching in the 2006 World Series against the Cardinals. He would lose both games he pitched in that series.

Voice of A Season Ticket Holder
(Kane County Cougars)

 

Just How Valuable is Justin Verlander to the Detroit Tigers?

verlander

Justin Verlander put on a show yesterday with his 119 pitch, 14 strikeout, 8 shutout inning performance.  I wish I could say any of his success this year was a surprise but, looking at trends in his numbers and his renewed attitude toward Spring Training set him up for this type of success.  He is the top pitcher in baseball right now and showing no signs of slowing down.

Verlander’s dominance is not hard to quantify.

  • He leads the Majors in wins (10),
  • Strikeouts(124, second place: 119)
  • Innings pitched (128.2, second place: 122)
  • WHIP (.839, second place: .920)
  • 1st in the AL in Win/Loss %
  • 1st in the AL in WAR for pitchers
  • 3rd in the AL in K/BB
  • 4th in the AL in ERA

He’s in the top 5 in the AL for every good statistic I could think of.  His WHIP is almost a half a baserunner per inning better than league average and he’s on pace for the 12th best WHIP ever and the 3rd best since 1913 (Pedro (.737 in 2000) is first and Maddux (.811 in 1995) is second).

And he’s getting better: Over his last 6 starts he’s 6-0 while getting an average of 25 outs per game (8.1 IP) allowing 4 total runs, 4 walks and compiling 51 strikeouts.

The Red Flag pops up though.  Over the course of his career he’s best in July and his new approach in Spring Training (which we documented here) suggests that he may break down earlier this year.  He’s a power pitcher who consistently sees his ERA rise in August and September.  I’m on the lookout for that to happen again but, with his current form and still reaching triple digit RADAR readings after 110 pitches, it’s going to take more than the turn of a calander month to slow Justin down.

Stats of the Day:  1)Justin Verlander has no nickname. To put this in perspective, Jose Valverde has a nickname.  Come on baseball fans, Verlander is not so much fun to say that we can’t come up with something.  This has got to be Shaq’s new job, nickname master.  2) The Pittsburgh Pirates are 39-37 and in 3rd place in the NL Central.  I think this could get interesting, as Pittsburgh is desperate for a winner and I see them being major buyers at the deadline if they continue to play this type of ball.  3) The Atlanta Braves have the fourth best winning percentage in the Majors despite being 18th in the league in runs scored, 25th in batting average and last in stolen bases (6 players have more steals than the Braves)

-Sean Morash

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