Never in doubt: Justin Verlander cruises to the AL Cy Young Award

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What, you were expecting someone else?

Justin Verlander ran away with the AL Cy Young Award today, garnering all 28 first place votes.  In his dust were Jered Weaver, James Shields CC Sabathia and Jose Valverde.  If you want to get mad about downballot stuff go ahead, but it kind of doesn’t matter here.

Verlander had a phenomenal season, of course. He won the pitching triple crown, leading the league in wins (24), ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250). He also led the league in winning percentage (.828) starts (34), innings (251), WHIP (.920) and hits allowed per nine innings (6.2).

The real conversation about Justin Verlander and postseason awards ceased to be about the Cy Young Award sometime in the middle of the year.  The real question is whether he’ll win the MVP Award.  We’ll find that out on November 21.

Fernando Rodney gives up walk-off homer to Gary Sanchez

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The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.

In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.

Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.

The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.