HOUSTON — Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander has done it again.
Verlander, 39, was named the 2022 American League Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday. He received all 30 first-place votes, making him the unanimous winner over other finalists -- Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease (second place) and Toronto Blue Jays starter Alek Manoah (third place). Astros starter Framber Valdez finished fifth.
It's Verlander's third time winning the AL Cy Young Award. He's the 11th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win the award three times. He also won with the Detroit Tigers in 2011, the same year he was also named the American League MVP, and in 2019 with the Astros. He's the first Astros pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards.
It's the ninth time in Verlander's 17 seasons that he has finished in the top 5 of Cy Young voting and the sixth time finishing in the top two (runner-up in 2012, 2016 and 2018). He was also Rookie of the Year in 2006 with the Tigers.
In 2022, Verlander was exceptional, posting a 1.75 ERA (lowest AL ERA since Pedro Martinez has a 1.74 ERA in 2000) to go along with a 0.82 WHIP (third-lowest AL WHIP since 1969) en route to an 18-4 record. He struck out 185 and walked 29 batters in 175 innings.
In his age-39 season and fresh off Tommy John surgery, Verlander was also named an All-Star and earned his first World Series win in Game 5 over the Phillies. What makes Verlander's 2022 season even more amazing is the fact that he didn't pitch at all during the 2021 season while he recovered from his elbow surgery.
Verlander's time in Houston has been nothing short of remarkable. In his five seasons in the Bayou City, he has a 61-19 record with a 2.26 ERA in 652 innings.
Verlander is the fourth Astros pitcher to win the award, joining Mike Scott (NL in 1986), Roger Clemens (NL in 2004) and Dallas Keuchel (AL in 2015).
Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara won the National League Cy Young Award in unanimous fashion, too.
Here's Verlander's wife, Kate Upton, on her husband's accomplishments after the Astros won the 2022 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies: