Q. When Michael Fulmer won the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2016, he became the most recent Detroit pitcher to win it, taking that distinction away from _________?
Hint: #1 The year of his first pitching triple crown was his MVP year.
Hint: #2 He has thrice led the majors in pitching wins.
A. JUSTIN VERLANDER [B-R Bio]
- Ans. Fulmer was ROY in 2016. Verlander was in 2006.
- #1 TC = 2011: 24 W, 2.40 ERA & 250 K.
- #2 Led in W in 2009 w/19, 2011 w/24 & 2019 w/21.
FCR - Phil Hertz, Kamuela, Hawaii
Incorrect guesses: Max Scherzer, Denny McLain, Hal Newhouser, Rick Porcello, Mark Fidrych
Q. What lefty owns the lowest [career] WHIP of any starting pitcher in the Modern Era? (As always, reasonable minimums apply.)
Hint: #1 He traveled to Cuba with his former manager, a Hall of Famer, on a goodwill mission sponsored by MLB.
Hint: #2 As a Texas high school senior, his record was 13-0 with an ERA of 0.77.
A. CLAYTON KERSHAW [B-R Bio]
- Ans. His career 1.0036 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) rate is the best for any starter since 1900, although Jacob deGrom is close behind at 1.0164. (1,000 innings min.)
- #1 Cuba trip was in December 2015.
- #2 Played for Highland Park HS located in one of Dallas’ “Park Cities”. That same year, he also recorded 139 K in 64 IP. In a playoff game, he pitched an all-strikeout perfect G, striking out all 15 batters he faced. The G was shortened because of a mercy rule. Not that his cause needed much help that day, he also hit a grand slam.
FCR - Steve Wasserzug, Silver Spring, Maryland
Incorrect guesses: Lefty Grove, Roger Clemens, Dave McNally, Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela, Hilton Smith, Andy Pettitte
Q. Which Gatorade National Player-of-the-Year Award winner and six-time Gold Glove Award winner once won a Cy Young Award for a team thirty games under .500 that season?
Hint: #1 His team-best WAR that year was four times better than that of his next closet teammate. In fact, it led the majors.
Hint: #2 He was the first pitcher to homer in the DH era for his original franchise.
A. ZACK GREINKE [B-R Bio]
- Ans. CYA in 2009 for 65-97 KCR. Gatorade POY
- #1 His 2009 WAR was 10.4. Albert Pujols was 2nd in MLB w/9.7 & his 3rd NL MVP. On KCR, 2nd was teammate Joakim Soria at 2.7.
- #2 DH-era HR = 10-Jun-2005. DH era = 1973-. In fact, his HR has been the only one ever hit by any KCR pitcher in the DH Era in more than 518 total pitcher ABs.
FCR - John Lagana, Avondale, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses: Randy Jones, Steve Carlton, Frank Viola, Bobby Shantz, Gaylord Perry
Q. Which BLTL hurler passed John Smoltz on the career strikeout list in 2019?
Hint: #1 He led the majors in pitching victories his first two seasons with his new team.
Hint: #2 Ichiro was his 1,000th strikeout.
Hint: #3 He excised the dots.
A. CC SABATHIA [B-R Bio]
- Ans. Sabathia finished with 3,093 K, slipping past HOF Smoltz’s 3,084 in 2019, his last season.
- #1 He joined NYY in 2009, leading them to their last WS championship, capturing the ALCS MVP along the way. His 19 W in 2009 & 21 W in 2010 (tied that year w/Justin Verlander & Felix Hernandez) both lead all MLB moundsmen.
- #2 Struck out I. Suzuki for K #1,000 on 21-May-2007.
- #3 His birth name was Carsten Charles Sabathia, Jr. He preferred the initials and was known as “See-See”, “Sí Sí” or “C.C.” by all. To remove any ambiguity, he eliminated the period and the spaces. You’ll now find him under “CC”.
FCR - Matt King, San Jose
Incorrect guesses: Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer
Q. Who was the sixth pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in each league where the award was available?
Hint: #1 A St. Louis Cardinal draft pick, he was drafted by Arizona from the Tigers.
Hint: #2 He is one ring away from joining Koufax and The Freak.
A. MAX SCHERZER [B-R Bio]
- Ans. Won AL CYA in 2013 w/DET; won NL CYA in 2016 & 2017 w/WSN. Preceding him with that dual honor were Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens & Roy Halladay.
- #1 Drafted by STL in the 43rd round of the 2003 MLB June Amateur Draft from Parkway Central HS in Chesterfield, MO.) He chose instead to play for the University of Missouri Tigers and then was taken by ARI in the 1st round (11th overall) of the 2006 MLB June Amateur Draft.
- #2 Only Sandy Koufax and Tim Lincecum (“The Freak”) have…
- Won multiple Cy Young Awards,
- Pitched multiple no-hitters AND
- Won multiple World Series
Scherzer has won the CYA thrice, pitched 2 no-hitters and won the WS w/WSN in 2019. (Justin Verlander is in a similar position of opportunity.)
FCR - Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses: Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Randy Johnson
Q. Who is the only Philadelphia player to win multiple postseason MVPs in the same postseason?
Hint: #1 That same season, he led the National League in WHIP.
Hint: #2 As a veteran, but looking much younger, he took it upon himself to instruct a younger player (who looked older) in the game’s unwritten rules.
A. COLE HAMELS [B-R Bio]
- Ans. MVP for 2008 NLCS & 2008 WS
- #1 Had a WHIP of 1.082 in 2008.
- #2 Hamels hit Bryce Harper with pitch, in the 8th G of Harper’s career, 06-May-2012. Hamels admitted he did it on purpose, saying after the game, “I was trying to hit him. I wanted to welcome him to the major leagues.” Harper exacted revenge by stealing home before the inning ended, his first career steal.
FCR - Robert Reuther, Pittsburgh
Incorrect guesses: Steve Carlton, Roy Halladay, Curt Schilling, Jimmie Foxx, Jim Konstanty, Cliff Lee, Tug McGraw
Q. Who was the first 21st century pitcher to toss a shutout in the majors before his twenty-first birthday?
Hint: #1 His home run in the majors was the type that accounts for four runs batted in.
Hint: #2 He sprained his ankle while covering home plate on a wild pitch in the same game landing him on the disabled list.
A. FELIX HERNANDEZ [B-R Bio]
- Ans. SHO 28-Aug-06. He was 20 yrs & 142 days old.
- #1 GS HR on 23-Jun-2008. It was the first GS by a P in 37 years.
- #2 Was on the 15-G DL.
FCR - Matt Kramer, Silverdale, Washington
Incorrect guesses: Jose Fernandez, Dontrelle Willis, Mark Prior
WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with a total of at least 2,500 strikeouts since the years began starting with a 2.
Player SO From To G W L IP WAR
Greinke......... 2,755....... 2004.... 2021......... 515...... 215..... 128..... 3,030⅓..... 68.2
Hamels......... 2,560....... 2006.... 2020......... 423...... 163..... 122..... 2,698........ 58.1
Hernandez... 2,524....... 2005.... 2019......... 419...... 169..... 136..... 2,729⅔..... 50.3
Kershaw....... 2,630....... 2008.... 2021......... 372...... 183....... 82..... 2,421⅓..... 68.5
Sabathia....... 3,093....... 2001.... 2019......... 561...... 251..... 161..... 3,577⅓..... 62.1
Scherzer....... 2,888....... 2008.... 2021......... 390...... 180....... 97..... 2,434⅔..... 62.0
Verlander...... 3,013....... 2005.... 2020......... 454...... 226..... 129..... 2,988........ 72.3
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Pat Ray, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday - Pitchers who won Cy Young and MVP in same season
Tuesday - Cy Young Award, MVP Award and no-hitter all in the same season
- Best player at their position in 21st century by WAR
- Unanimous Cy Young award winners
- Active pitchers with the highest WAR
Wed - Winningest active pitchers
- Most innings pitched 2010-2019
- Pitchers who have won the Cy Young, struck out over 9 per 9 innings and led the league in ERA & WHIP in the same year
Sat - Highest-paying contracts signed by pitchers
Sunday - Pitchers who made $20 million or more in a season
- Pitchers with the most WAR in 2010-19
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