Major League Baseball continues to hand out hardware. On Wednesday, it was time to announce the American League and National League Cy Young Award winners. In the American League, Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros was honoured, while in the National League, Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins was recognized. According to Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post, it was the first time since 1968 that the American League and the National League Cy Young Award winners were unanimous in the same year.
In 1968, the Cy Young Award winners were Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers (American League), and Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals (National League). Interestingly, both McLain of Markham, Illinois, and Gibson of Omaha, Nebraska were named the American League and National League Most Valuable Player Awards respectively too.
In 2022, Verlander, a native of Manakin Sabot, Virginia, had a record of 18 wins (led the American League) and four losses, with a spectacular earned run average of 1.75 (lowest in Major League Baseball and his Hall of Fame caliber career). In 175 innings, he gave up 116 hits, 34 earned runs and 29 walks, to go along with 185 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.83 (lowest in Major League Baseball). He was also an All-Star for a ninth time.
This was Verlander’s third career Cy Young Award. He previously won it with the Tigers in 2011, and the Astros in 2019. Verlander’s 2022 MLB season came after he only threw six innings in the last two seasons (2020 and 2021) because of Tommy John Surgery. A free agent now, it is expected that Verlander will make north of $40 million this upcoming season, even though he is 39 years of age.
The native of Azua, Dominican Republic had a record of 14 wins and nine losses in 2022 with an earned run average of 2.28. A workhorse, Alcantara led Major League Baseball with 228 2/3 innings pitched, 886 batters faced, six complete games, and one shutout. The complete game shutout came in 3-0 Marlins win over the Cincinnati Reds on August 3. In 32 starts, Alcantara gave up 174 hits, 58 earned runs, and 50 walks, to go along with 208 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.98.
Alcantara was a National League All-Star for the second time (first time in 2019). He also became the first Marlins pitcher in franchise history to win the Cy Young Award, and the third Dominican to win the Cy Young Award. He followed Pedro Martinez of the Montreal Expos (1997) and the Boston Red Sox (1999 and 2000), and Bartolo Colon of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (2005). Martinez is from Manoguayabo, and Colon is from Altamira.