Justin Verlander of Houston in the American League and Sandy Alcantara of Miami in the National League were unanimous choices for the Cy Young Award on Wednesday night.
It is the second time the winners from both leagues have been unanimous since the award began in 1956 and the first time since Detroit’s Denny McLain of the AL and Bob Gibson of the St. Louis in the National League swept the polls in 1968.
Verlander, 39, who also won the award in 2019 after winning both the MVP and Cy Young in 2011, becomes the 11th player to win it three times. He also won unanimously in 2011.
Ben Verlander calls his brother after winning Cy Young
Ben Verlander calls the Astros’ Justin Verlander LIVE on the air after winning his third Cy Young Award.
Verlander led the majors with a 1.75 ERA, the lowest of his 17-year career, after missing nearly all of the previous two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery. He becomes the fourth American League pitcher with two unanimous wins, joining Roger Clemens (1986, 1998), Pedro Martínez (1999, 2000) and Johan Santana (2004, 2006).
Verlander led the Astros to the AL’s best record, and while the postseason doesn’t count for the award, he got his first World Series win in Game 5 when Houston beat Philadelphia in six games.
Alcantara had a 2.28 ERA while pitching a career-best 228 2/3 innings and six contests. It’s the first Cy Young for the 27-year-old from the Dominican Republic, who becomes the first Marlins player to receive the honor.
Alcantara received all 30 first-place votes, the 15th time the NL has had a unanimous winner. Atlanta’s Max Fried was second with 72 points, including 10 second-place votes, and Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Julio Urías was third with 66 points and seven second-place votes.
Behind Verlander, who was the 11th AL pitcher to win unanimously, were Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox with 97 points and 14 second-place votes and Toronto’s Alek Manoah with 87 points and seven second-place votes . All three pitchers were named on each ballot.
Verlander’s 18 wins led the AL, and he had 185 strikeouts to give him 3,198 in his career, which ranks first among active players.
Alcántara’s six complete games were the most in the majors since Chris Sale had six in 2016. The two-time All-Star went 14-9 and pitched seven or more innings in 13 straight starts ‘May 11 to July 15, which was the longest. this streak since 2014.
Alcántara’s innings pitched and wins were career highs and his ERA was his best in six seasons and ranked second in the NL.
He joins Martínez (1997) as the only player born in the Dominican Republic to win the National League award. Martinez also won twice in the AL (1999, 2000) and the other Dominican winner in the AL was Bartolo Colon in 2005.
Urías was 17-7 and led the NL with a 2.16 ERA to help the Dodgers lead the majors with 111 regular-season wins. The lefty had 166 strikeouts following a 2021 season in which he led the majors with 20 wins.
Fried was 14-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 170 strikeouts. He was a first-time All-Star and helped lead the Braves to their fifth consecutive NL East crown.
Cease went 14-8 and ranked second behind Verlander with a 2.20 ERA. He had a career-high 227 strikeouts and went 14 straight starts this summer without allowing more than one earned run.
Manoah went 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA in his second season. He had 180 strikeouts and went 4-0 with a 0.88 ERA over his last six starts to help the Blue Jays reach the playoffs.
Report from The Associated Press.
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