New York, NY – Who says a starting pitcher can't be the Most Valuable Player?
On Monday the Baseball Writers' Association of America named Detroit right- hander Justin Verlander as the American League MVP, making him the first pitcher to be honored since Dennis Eckersley in 1992 and the first starting pitcher to nab the award since Roger Clemens in 1986.
Verlander, who was named the AL Cy Young Award winner last week, placed first on 13 ballots, second on three, third on three, fourth on four, fifth on one and sixth on two others cast by two writers from each AL city and garnered 280 points to outdistance Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury by 38 points.
Verlander was sensational this season for the Tigers. as he became the 12th pitcher in the last 50 years to win pitching's Triple Crown, leading the league in wins (24), ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250). He was the first AL pitcher to accomplish the feat since Johan Santana in '06 and the first Tigers hurler to do it since Hal Newhouser in 1945.
The 28-year-old flamethrower'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.
He pitched more than seven innings 19 times on the year, a stat that 12 teams did not reach.
Verlander, who won his final 12 decisions 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.
More to follow.