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Third Unsuccessful Justin Verlander places him in elite company and on his way to his second Cy Young Award



On Sunday, Houston Astros right-hander Justin Verlander threw a striker against the Toronto Blue Jays. Werlander dominated by hitting 14 runs and allowing only one major to come for a walk to Cavan Bijo, the second patrolman to get up. It was his third "no-no" career that put him in the company that man holds when one is an elite talent.

Think that Verlander is now tied for the third-most no-hit all-time, trailing only Nolan Ryan (seven) and Sandy Kufax (four). As for the pitchers that Verlander is tied to, this is a group that includes Larry Corcoran, Xi Young and Bob Feller. It is; this is the whole class.

A jar with three or more odds
1

. Nolan Ryan – 7
2. Sandy Kufax – 4
T3. Justin Verlander – 3
T3. Cy Young – 3
T3. Bob Feller – 3
T3. Larry Corcoran – 3

Let's put it another way: five other pitchers in history have thrown at least as many losers as Verlander so far, and all are considered some of the best pitchers the sport has seen – except Corcoran whose work came in the 1800s. Hell, one of these pitchers literally serves as the namesake of the top picking prize.

Verlander is also well-known for this award, having won it before 2011. He could very well be on the verge of bringing another home later this year.

Verlander entered Sunday with a 2.69 ERA (167 ERA +) ratio and a 7.15 strikeout for a walk for the season. He has now accumulated 193 passes during the year in 29 starts and has made a quality start in 22 of those attempts. Dating from the All-Star Game, he has started 10 times and allowed more than two runs in a single trip only once. This is impressive.

Of course, Verlander has some competition for the American League Cy Young Award, especially in the light of the various expanded indicators there. Mike Minor led him with a near win, entering Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement on Sunday, and Lance Lynn had an even bigger lead over the FanGraphs version. Still, Verlander is the AL leader in WARP or Baseball Prospectus. That's without mention of other decent racers – such as teammate Gerrit Cole or Charlie Morton – which says how wide the field is this year.

If Verlander finds his way to the top of the ballots – and maybe a trip like Sunday will help him overcome any differences in numbers – he will become the 20th owner to ever receive many Cy Young awards (For Curious: Kufax won three; Ryan never won any.)

Factor in Verlander's postseason performances – he threw 152 innings of 3.19 EPAs for his career, with another trip to the playoffs ahead – and clearly is that he is one of the best pitchers in recent memory. Even if Verlander never wins another Cy Young or throws another no-no, he has done more than enough to secure his eventual introduction to Cooperstown.


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