Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander has been voted American League Pitcher of the Month for September. This is Justin’s third career monthly award, previously taking home honors for May 2009 and June 2011. This marks the second time in two seasons that a Tigers hurler has won the league’s top pitching honor after teammate Doug Fister took home the award in September 2011.
Verlander compiled a 5-1 record with a 1.93 ERA, 41 strikeouts and 10 walks in 42.0 innings pitched over six starts to help the Tigers claim the A.L. Central division. The Tigers ace finished first in the A.L. in wins and ERA (minimum 26.0 innings pitched), was tied for first in strikeouts and was second in innings pitched. In his opening start of the month on September 2nd, Verlander allowed one run on four hits and struck out 11 over 8.0 innings as the Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox, 4-2, at Comerica Park. It was Verlander’s fifth straight win against the White Sox, continuing a trend for the right-hander against the South Siders as he improved to 12-1 with a 2.23 ERA, 20 walks and 90 strikeouts in 101.0 innings against Chicago since the start of the 2009 season. Following a loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, his first losing decision in over a month, Verlander bounced back with a 4-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on September 14th. The 2011 A.L. MVP and Cy Young Award winner scattered six hits and struck out six over 7.0 shutout innings in the 110-pitch appearance, his first scoreless performance since shutting down the Baltimore Orioles over 8.0 innings on July 15th. The Virginia native continued his scoreless string in his next start on September 19th, allowing five hits and striking out five in 6.0 scoreless innings in an eventual 6-2 Detroit victory over the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. It was Verlander’s 15th win of the
season, marking the sixth time that he has posted 15-or-more victories in a single season. Additionally, the Old Dominion product has won 15-or-more games in four straight seasons, the longest string for a Tiger since Jack Morris posted seven consecutive seasons with 15-ormore victories from 1982-88. In his final start of the month on September 29th, the 29-year-old allowed one run (unearned) on four hits and struck out eight to lead Detroit to a 6-4 win over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field.
Other pitchers receiving votes included David Price (4-0, 2.68 ERA, 37.0 IP, 9 BB, 35 SO, CG at Boston on September 25th) of Tampa Bay; Zack Greinke (3-0, 2.11ERA, 42.2 IP, 9 BB, 38 SO) and Jered Weaver (4-1, 2.20 ERA, 32.2 IP, 9 BB, 23 SO) of the Angels; Verlander’s teammate Max Scherzer (2-1, 2.17 ERA, 29.0 IP, 4 BB, 33 SO); and Jim Johnson (1-0, 9 SV, 0.73 ERA, 12.1 IP, 2 BB, 7 SO) of Baltimore.
The American League Pitcher of the Month, Justin Verlander, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, for his accomplishment.