Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has won his first AL Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote on Tuesday, becoming the first Tigers pitcher to win since reliever Willie Hernandez in 1984 and only the second Tigers starting pitcher to win the award, joining Denny McLain, who won in 1968 and shared the award in 1969.
Verlander got all 28 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America in results announced Tuesday. Tigers closer Jose Valverde finished fifth, behind Los Angeles' Jered Weaver, Tampa Bay's James Shields and New York's CC Sabathia.
Thx guys for the notes, Verlander tweeted today. Incredible day. Owe it to the fans and teammates.
Verlander won the pitching Triple Crown in the American League by going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts, which meant he led the AL in all three categories, the first pitcher to do so since Johan Santana for the 2006 Twins. He also led the AL in WHIP (0.92), innings pitched (251), winning percentage (.828), lowest batting average against a starting pitcher (.192) and baserunners per nine innings (8.4).
The 28-year-old righty also pitched a no-hitter (the second of his career, against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 7, 2011), won 12 straight starts (from mid-June to the end of the regular season) and helped the Tigers win their first division title since 1987 (and subsequently leading the team to the ALC title game against the Texas Rangers).
Verlander is also in the AL MVP discussion. No starting pitcher has won the MVP since Roger Clemens won as a member of the Boston Red Sox in 1986. Clemens went 24-4 that season, while Verlander went 24-5 this season. The AL MVP will be announced Monday.
Obviously, I want to win it, Verlander told ESPN. If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I had the chance to win the MVP and be a unanimous Cy Young winner, it would have blown my mind.
Watch the video of the final out of his May 7 no-hitter below: