NEW YORK -- Justin Verlander has a second AL Cy Young Award -- and a clear path paved toward Cooperstown.
Verlander beat out teammate Gerrit Cole in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced Wednesday night. Verlander got 17 first-place votes compared to 13 for Cole, who became a free agent after the season.
Mets ace Jacob deGrom won the NL prize for the second consecutive year. He received 29 of 30 first-place votes, becoming the 11th pitcher to win Cy Youngs in consecutive years. He and Verlander are the 20th and 21st players to win the award multiple times.
The previous repeat winner was Washington's Max Scherzer in 2016 and '17. Scherzer finished third this season, a slot behind the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Verlander continued a marvelous second act to his career since a 2017 trade from Detroit to Houston. He led the majors with 21 victories and padded his Hall of Fame resume by getting his 3,000th strikeout in his final start of the regular season. He also reached 300 punchouts in a season for the first time.
Verlander no-hit Toronto on Sept. 1, becoming the sixth pitcher with three no-hitters in a career. He joined a group that includes Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan, Sandy Kofax, Bob Feller and Cy Young, along with 1880s pitcher Larry Corcoran.
The 36-year-old Verlander won his first Cy Young in 2011, when he was also named MVP, and has since been a three-time runner-up.
The case between Verlander and Cole was tight. Cole had more strikeouts (326) and a lower ERA (2.50), but Verlander threw 10 2/3 more innings and won more games. They are the first set of teammates to finish 1-2 in AL voting -- it's happened five times in the NL.
Verlander and Cole pitched Houston to the World Series, where Cole continued to dominate while Verlander faltered. The right-hander lost twice to the champion Washington Nationals -- a letdown not factored in voting that concluded before the postseason began.
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Charlie Morton finished third a year after leaving Houston in free agency.
DeGrom is in special company as a repeat NL winner, joining Sandy Koufax, Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Tim Lincecum, Clayton Kershaw and Scherzer.
The 31-year-old led the NL with 255 strikeouts and posted a 2.43 ERA. His resume was bolstered by his durability -- deGrom totaled 204 innings, compared to 172 1/3 for Scherzer and 182 2/3 for Ryu.
A year after taking the award despite just 10 victories -- fewest ever by a starting pitcher -- deGrom earned 11 wins with a Mets team that's struggled to support him.
After signing a $137.5 million, five-year deal to remain with the Mets shortly before opening day, deGrom wasn't so dominant early in the season. He got hit around in April and May, even allowing seven runs in an outing against the last-place Marlins.
The embarrassment in Miami was a wake-up call for deGrom. Following that loss, he went 8-3 with a 1.89 ERA over his final 23 starts. DeGrom wrapped up the season with 23 consecutive scoreless innings.
"I think that was something I struggled with to start this year, was kind of dwelling on what happened last year," deGrom said. "Kind of not focusing on the task ahead as much as I probably should have."
Recent Cy Young Award winners
2019 — Jacob deGrom, New York
2018 — Jacob deGrom, New York
2017 — Max Scherzer, Washington
2016 — Max Scherzer, Washington
2015 — Jake Arrieta, Chicago
2014 — Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
2013 — Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
2012 — R.A. Dickey, New York
2011 — Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles
2010 — Roy Halladay, Philadelphia
2009 — Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
2008 — Tim Lincecum, San Francisco
2007 — Jake Peavy, San Diego
2006 — Brandon Webb, Arizona
2005 — Chris Carpenter, St. Louis
2004 — Roger Clemens, Houston
2003 — Eric Gagne, Los Angeles
2002 — Randy Johnson, Arizona
2001 — Randy Johnson, Arizona
2000 — Randy Johnson, Arizona
1999 — Randy Johnson, Arizona
1998 — Tom Glavine, Atlanta
1997 — Pedro Martinez, Montreal
1996 — John Smoltz, Atlanta
1995 — Greg Maddux, Atlanta
1994 — Greg Maddux, Atlanta
1993 — Greg Maddux, Atlanta
1992 — Greg Maddux, Chicago
1991 — Tom Glavine, Atlanta
1990 — Doug Drabek, Pittsburgh
1989 — Mark Davis, San Diego
1988 — Orel Hershiser, Los Angeles
1987 — Steve Bedrosian, Philadelphia
2019 — Justin Verlander, Houston
2018 — Blake Snell, Tampa Bay
2017 — Corey Kluber, Cleveland
2016 — Rick Porcello, Boston
2015 — Dallas Keuchel, Houston
2014 — Corey Kluber, Cleveland
2013 — Max Scherzer, Detroit
2012 — David Price, Tampa Bay
2011 — Justin Verlander, Detroit
2010 — Felix Hernandez, Seattle
2009 — Zack Greinke, Kansas City
2008 — Cliff Lee, Cleveland
2007 — CC Sabathia, Cleveland
2006 — Johan Santana, Minnesota
2005 — Bartolo Colon, Los Angeles
2004 — Johan Santana, Minnesota
2003 — Roy Halladay, Toronto
2002 — Barry Zito, Oakland
2001 — Roger Clemens, New York
2000 — Pedro Martinez, Boston
1999 — Pedro Martinez, Boston
1998 — Roger Clemens, Toronto
1997 — Roger Clemens, Toronto
1996 — Pat Hentgen, Toronto
1995 — Randy Johnson, Seattle
1994 — David Cone, Kansas City
1993 — Jack McDowell, Chicago
1992 — Dennis Eckersley, Oakland
1991 — Roger Clemens, Boston
1990 — Bob Welch, Oakland
1989 — Bret Saberhagen, Kansas City
1988 — Frank Viola, Minnesota
1987 — Roger Clemens, Boston
New York Mets' starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, left, listens as New York Mets' second baseman Robinson Cano talks in the dugout during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, in New York.
Sports on 11/14/2019
Print Headline: Verlander claims second Cy Young