Elite. Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander finally earned the adulation with a remarkable 2009 campaign. Starting on May 10, May's American League Pitcher of the Month led the Tigers on a 147-day first place expedition. Though Detroit was dramatically unseated by Minnesota in the 163rd game, it was no fault of Verlander's. Among AL Triple Crown pitching categories, Verlander ran away with the strikeout title (269), shared the lead in wins (19) with Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia, and placed sixth in earned run average (3.45). That's two of three for the 26-year-old fireballer. He is sure to finish top five in Cy Young Award voting, if not top three. Last year was not the same story, however.
Mired in a season-long slump, Verlander limped to an 11-17 record, posting a 4.84 earned ...
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Article written by Johnny Lawrence