Not much has gone right for the Athletics lately. After being swept by the lowly Rangers, they were in danger of dropping two out of three to the Phillies. The two teams were locked in a 6-6 tie going into the bottom of the tenth, with each side having squandered plenty of opportunities to push across more runs.
With a runner on first base and one out, Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez threw a 1-0 fastball right over the middle of the plate and Donaldson demolished it, hitting a no-doubter to straightaway center field for a walk-off two-run home run. It’s Donaldson’s third walk-off homer of the season, most in the majors per ESPN Stats & Info.
Donaldson now has 28 home runs, 97 RBI, and a .255/.339/.458 slash line. Meanwhile, the Athletics remain a half-game up on the Royals, who beat the Tigers today, for the first of two American League Wild Card slots. The A’s extend their lead over the Mariners, who lost to the Astros, to 1.5 games.
Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.
Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.
During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).
2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.
Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.