Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander has won the 2011 American League MVP Award, as announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. News of this award for Verlander comes less than a week after it was announced that Verlander won the 2011 AL Cy Young Award.
Verlander has made a lot of history by being named the AL MVP. He is the first starting pitcher to win the award since Roger Clemens won it back in 1986. (The last pitcher in general to win the award was reliever Dennis Eckersley in 1992.) He is also the first Tigers player to be named the MVP since Willie Hernandez won the award in 1984.
What's shocking about the voting for the AL MVP is how big the margin was between Verlander and Jacoby Ellsbury, who came in second. Verlander had 280 total points, whereas Ellsbury only had 242. Verlander received 13 first-place votes, eight more than the amount of first-place votes Jose Bautista received. Here's a look at the top five (first-place votes are in parentheses):
1. Justin Verlander - 280 points (13)
2. Jacoby Ellsbury - 242 points (4)
3. Jose Bautista - 231 points (5)
4. Curtis Granderson - 215 points (3)
5. Miguel Cabrera - 193 points (2)
To recap, the Tigers had Verlander win the AL Cy Young and the AL MVP, and they also had Jose Valverde finish in the top five for the Cy Young and Cabrera finish in the top five for the MVP. That goes along with an AL Central championship and an ALDS victory over the Yankees. 2011 was quite the year for the Tigers.