Posts Tagged ‘Justin Verlander’

2016 Awards Nominees Announced

November 10, 2016

It is now time for MLB to complete the 2016 season by naming the winners of its yearly awards. The new policy of announcing finalists (actually the 3 guys with the most votes) is still in effect. Apparently it’s the new normal.

OK, I guess, but I liked the old system better. I got to anticipate the winner in a different way than now. I got to wonder “who’s going to win?” and “who’s gonna finish fifth but shoulda won?” You don’t get to do that anymore and that’s kind of a shame. Now I know who’s been shafted before I even know who won.

Well, anyway, in case you haven’t seen the lists, here they are for your information and commentary if you want:

NL MVP: Kris Bryant, Daniel Murphy, Corey Seager (winner announced 17 November)

AL MVP: Jose Altuve, Mookie Betts, Mike Trout (also announced 17 November)

NL Cy Young: Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester, Max Scherzer (announced 16 November)

AL Cy Young: Corey Kluber, Rick Porcello, Justin Verlander (also 16 November)

NL Rookie: Kenta Maeda, Corey Seager, Trea Turner (announced 14 November)

AL Rookie: Michael Fulmer, Gary Sanchez, Tyler Naquin (also 14 November)

NL Manager: Joe Maddon, Dusty Baker, Dave Roberts (announced 15 November)

AL Manager: Jeff Bannister, Terry Francona, Buck Showalter (also 15 November

That’s the list. One thing I noted is how good the Tigers starting staff was just a few years ago: Verlander, Porcello, Scherzer. All three are nominees this season.

Good luck to all.

2012 Awards: Cy Young

November 2, 2012

The Cy Young Award Namesake in 1891

And finally, the Cy Young Awards for 2012. Again who I think will win and who I think should win.

NL–My guess is that R.A. Dickey will win this award. He has excellent, but not overpowering, numbers and is a great story. The great story isn’t supposed to count for Cy Young voting, but you know it will. He led the NL in inning pitched, strikeouts, shutouts, and complete games. He was in the top two or three in a number of other stats. All that is probably good enough to pick up the award. But of course there are other contenders. Gio Gonzalez led the league in wins, but was frequently seen as the number two pitcher behind Strasburg. Clayton Kershaw led in ERA and WHIP. Matt Cain was the ace whose team actually won something. Johnny Cueto led in ERA+ and in games started. All of them are contenders, but no one dominated the NL this season. I think that puts Dickey in the driver’s seat. Oh, and Craig Kimbrel the reliever? The key stat, like it or not, for relievers is the save. Kimbrel finished tied with Jason Motte of St. Louis with 42. You can’t win the Cy Young as a reliever and be tied with someone else in saves.

I really have no particular preference in this race, although as a Dodgers fan I like Kershaw. I don’t think he did well enough to repeat. So my vote would reluctantly go to Dickey.

AL–This award seems to be a three man race between Justin Verlander, David Price, Jered Weaver (with an occasional mention of Matt Harrison at Texas). Verlander led the AL in strikeouts, ERA+, and complete games while finishing second WHIP and ERA. Price led the AL in ERA, wins, and winning percentage while finishing second in ERA+. Weaver tied Price for most wins and winning percentage, then led the AL in WHIP. He was also third in ERA. All that means that no one of the three was utterly dominant (no Randy Johnson in this bunch) but that all did well. My personal choice is for a Verlander repeat, but he had the least wins of the group. That could give either of the others a way to slip in over Verlander. Ultimately, I think Verlander, the only one whose team made the playoffs, will take home his second Cy Young Award.

This concludes my take on the 2012 postseason awards. The winners will be revealed 12-15 November and we’ll see how I do. If I do well then expect me to spend at least one post lording it over the riff raff. If I do poorly, “What awards?”.

2011 AL MVP

October 5, 2011

If you haven’t already done so, take a second and head over to the On Deck Circle blog (listed at right). Bill Miller has a fine, well reasoned article looking at the 2011 candidates for the MVP in the American League. He concludes it should be Miguel Cabrera.

Now here’s the thing. I agree with him on who should win. But I have this feeling that Cabrera won’t win. I look for him to come in third or lower. I think, in this post-steroids (I hope) era, Cabrera’s off field problems will weigh against him.  I also don’t think the writers will simply overlook Curtis Granderson of the Yankees. He plays for the most famous and important team in the AL and this season he was their best player. I think that will get him votes and I look for him to come in second. But I believe the winner will be Justin Verlander of Detroit. The last time a pitcher won the AL MVP was Dennis Eckersley in 1992. The last starter to win it was way back in 1986 when Roger Clemens won, and before that go back to 1971 when Vida Blue won. And the National League is even worse with Bob Gibson being the last winner in 1968. There have been worthy candidates in other years (Steve Carlton in 1972 comes to mind–he finished fifth), but the general comment has been “but they’ve got a Cy Young Award for pitchers”, as if a pitcher cannot be “most valuable” to his team. I think this year Verlander’s season has been so outstanding the writers will take the opportunity to rectify this.

With any kind of luck I’ll be wrong, but I won’t hold my breath.

Awards, 20 Games Out

September 13, 2011

With about 20 games left in the season, it’s time to start thinking about MLB’s postseason awards. I’ve never been very good at this, so don’t bet the farm on any of my comments. I’m going to tell you who I think should win a few (not all) and am aware that with 20 games to go it could all change.

AL Cy Young–this is easy. Justin Verlander. The only question is whether he picks up the MVP too.

AL MVP–Curtis Granderson. The Yanks are in first, Granderson has had a seismic year, his closest competitor is a pitcher. It’s his unless the wheels come off entirely.

NL Cy Young–Clayton Kershaw. He leads the NL in ERA and strikeouts, he’s second in wins (by 1) and second in WHIP (by 0.05), and he plays on a team just below .500.

NL MVP–I like Ryan Braun, but doubt he’ll win. He’ll lose votes to Fielder on his own team and that may let Upton slide in with the award.

NL Come-Back Player of the Year–Lance Berkman easy. If he’d kept up in July and August what he did in April, May, and June, he might be MVP.

No call yet on Rookies or Managers, but I’ll bet Leyland gets a lot of support.

Feel free to disagree.

1910: The Slugging Hurler

September 17, 2010

Ed Summers

On this date in 1910, the Detroit Tigers pitcher Ed Summers hit two home runs in the same game. It was unusual because in his entire career, Summers hit exactly two home runs, these two. The Tigers defeated the Philadelphia Athletics that day 10-3, Summers picking up the win. It didn’t help a lot, the A’s still won the pennant, but for one day it slowed them down. 

Oran Edgar Summers was born in 1884 in Indiana. He was another college man, attending Wabash College before joining the Tigers in 1908. He went 24-12 with an ERA of 1.64 in 40 games (32 starts). He pitched 301 innings (a career high), gave up 271 hits, walked 55 and struck out 103. On 25 September 1908, he pitched both ends of a double-header recording two wins. The Tigers made the World Series, Summers relieving in game one and starting game four. He took the loss in both games, giving up 18 hits in 14.2 innings. Wikipedia says he and Justin Verlander are the only two Tigers rookies to start a World Series game. 

In 1909 he was 19-9 in 282 innings, posting a career high in strikeouts with 107. The Tigers got back to the World series, and again Summers got into two games (both starts) and lost both. He gave up 13 hits in 7.1 innings and had a huge 8.60 ERA. 

By 1910 he was showing signs of arm trouble (he ended up with rheumatism) and began slowing down. He was 13-12 in 1910 (including his big day 100 years ago today) and 11-11 in 1911. He  was finished in 1912 managing to go 1-1 in three games. For his career he ended up 68-45 with 999 innings pitched over 138 games. He struck out 362 and walked 221 with nine shutouts. In World series play he was 0-4.  He died at age in 1953 at age 68. 

Summers is one of those Stone Age players you never hear about. He’s strictly background noise for the big names. On his own team that means Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford. He’s another one of those pitchers who arrive with a great season, then flame out early. A couple of weeks ago I did a post of Jack Coombs, a better pitcher, but one whose career follows the same trajectory of success followed by rapid collapse (Coombs, did however, have a long period of toiling before he made it big in the American League) Baseball history is littered with players like Summers and Coombs. For all that, for one day, Summers at least was a fearsome slugger.