In accordance with the requirements* of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, being of sound mind and body I hereby cast my ballot for the Walter Johnson Award for the best pitchers in baseball, 2011.
1. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers – 24 victories. Incredible velocity. Tigers win division. Any questions?
2. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees – A 19-8 record and the stud of the Yankees staff.
3. Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels – An 18-8 record for a team that couldn’t win its division.
4. James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays – Trailing only Verlander and Sabathia in strikeouts, this guy is one of the league’s elite hurlers.
5. C.J. Wilson, Texas Rangers – Leader of the AL West champs’ staff, he had an outstanding season.
1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – Best numbers in the game and he achieved them with a weak Dodger team. Based solely on the pain he inflicted on us San Francisco Giants fans, I’d have to vote him tops in the league.
2. Ian Kennedy, Arizona Diamondbacks – No Kennedy, no D-Backs division title. It’s that simple. And he inflicted immense pain on the Giants, too.
3. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – Great stats across the board, and a force to be reckoned with every time he took the mound.
4. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Ditto.
5. Yovani Gallardo, Milwaukee Brewers – Somebody had to lead the Brewers’ starters, and Gallardo did capably.
*There is no requirement in the BBA that one be sane, but I just thought I’d mention my mental state in case anyone had any concerns.