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Zito-Hudson duel lasts only two innings

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In Saturday afternoon’s duel between two former teammates, Athletics starter Barry Zito went two innings and Giants starter Tim Hudson went 1 1/3. Zito left to a standing ovation and Hudson gave a curtain call to the Oakland crowd. Hudson has announced he will retire after the season, and Zito will likely do the same.

Zito gave up four runs on six hits and a walk with no strikeouts in his two innings of work. He was relieved by Pat Venditte in the third. Hudson yielded three runs (two earned) on a hit and three walks with no strikeouts, leaving with one out in the second inning, giving way to Ryan Vogelsong.

Zito and Hudson were teammates on the Athletics from 2000-04 before Hudson was traded to the Braves. The club had drafted Zito in the first round, ninth overall, in the 1999 draft while they took Hudson in the sixth round in the 1997 draft.

Here’s video of both players getting some much-deserved adulation from the crowd:

Justin Verlander named 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner

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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.