Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Verlander, Kershaw are my Walter Johnson Award winners

As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Association it is my duty and honor to vote on the BBA post season awards.

Today I am voting for the Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander, and the Los Angeles Dodgers Clayton Kershaw, for the annual BBA Walter Johnson Award.

Walter Johnson was a fire balling right handed pitcher for the old Washington Senators, from 1907-1927, winning a remarkable 417 games, most ever for someone not named Cy Young.

In 1913 Johnson, known in big league history as the "Big Train," won 36 games, lost just 7, struck out 243 batters, and had a miniscule ERA of 1.14.

Johnson was inducted into the original 1936 class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

My American League vote for this years BBA Walter Johnson Award is Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers.

Verlander, who would make Walter Johnson quite proud with his 100 MPH fastball, battled and blew away American League hitters with 250 strikeouts, the most in the big leagues this year.

Those strikeouts were part of Verlander's Pitching Triple Crown this year, as he led all A.L. pitchers in wins, with 24, 250 strikeouts, and ERA, at 2.40.

Verlander also led both A.L. and big league starters with 251 innings pitched, and in WHIP, at 0.92, and batters hit just .192 against him in 2011.

Verlander dominated baseball from early on in 2011, including throwing his second career no-hitter, on May 7th, at Toronto.

Verlander's  won 8 straight starts from May 24th through June 30th, then won 12 straight starts from July 21st through September 18th.

Verlanders LAST lost decision was on July 15th, at home to the Chicago White Sox.

James Shields of the Tampa Bay Rays is my second choice.

Shields  was terrific in 2011, leading all of big league baseball with 11 complete games, and he won 16 games, struck out 225 batters, and had an ERA of 2.82

3rd place on my ballot goes to Jared Weaver of the Angels, who won 18 games, had a ERA of 2.41, and struck out 198 batters in 235 2/3 rds innings.

4th place...C.C. Sabathia, NYY Yankees, 19-8, 3.00 ERA, 230 K's.

5th place...C. J. Wilson, Texas Rangers...16-7, 2.94 ERA, 206 K's.

In the National League, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers receives my 1st place vote.

Kershaw was simply spectacular for a poor Dodgers team in 2011, winning 21 games(T-most in N.L.), and leading the Senior Circut with 248 strikeouts, a 2.28 ERA, best in all of big league baseball, and had a WHIP of 0.98.

In his last 10 starts for the Dodgers in 2011, Kershaw was 8-1, with a 1.38 ERA, and 71 K's.

My 2nd place vote goes to Ian Kennedy of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Kennedy won 21 games for the N.L. Weat champions, who finished last just a year ago.

That worst to first change was due in large part to Kennedy, who became one of baseballs best starters, winning those 21 games, tying him with Kershaw as the N.L. leader.

Kennedy also struck out 198 batters, had an ERA of 2.88, and he lost just 4 games, fewest among the best of N.L. starters.

Roy Halladay get my 3rd place vote.

Halladay, the defending Cy Young Award winner, was 19-6, had a 2.35 ERA, and struck out 220 batters, with a 1.04 WHIP, and walked just 35 hitters all season.

4th place...Cliff Lee, Phillies, 17-8, 2.40 ERA, 238 K's.

5th place...Tim Hudson, Atlanta Braves, 16-10, 3.22 ERA, 158 K's, 1.14 WHIP.

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