Jon Heyman has a story up about what’s facing Matt Harvey as he begins the next chapter of his career with his new team, the Cincinnati Reds. We’ve talked about Harvey a lot so the basics are all pretty familiar, but there’s a great anecdote in there:
There’s a “funny” story about Harvey: With him struggling on the mound but a day off coming, he once asked Terry Collins to stay behind for a night in Miami, and when he rejoined the team the next day he bragged in the clubhouse nonstop about his exploits the night before with some beautiful woman. Well, one veteran Met, tiring of his lack of focus and his emphasis on extracurriculars, shot across the clubhouse, saying something to the effect of: “That’s great Matt, but has she seen you pitch?”
That could’ve happened at any time over the past couple of years, but I’m gonna tell myself it happened in April of 2017, when the Mets played the Marlins in Miami. Harvey pitched on the 16th and they had the 17th off before a series at home against the Phillies, making it an easy flight home the next day for Harvey. For what it’s worth, I desperately want that mystery Met veteran to be Jerry Blevins, but I don’t even know why. Just sounds like a good guy to say that Harvey.
Please, no other reporters should talk to the Mets about this. I don’t want anyone suggesting that it’s not true.
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.