Caputo & Fithian

Three Degrees Of Pat Caputo 8-17-11

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(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Three reasons Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander isn’t only a candidate for the American League Cy Young Award, but also MVP:

1. Of Verlander’s 18 victories this season, 14 have come after Tiger losses. Another win was against Cleveland when the Tigers and Indians were tied for first place.

2. Take any of the top players off the Red Sox or Yankees, where would they be? Still in the postseason. Without Verlander, it’s safe to say the Tigers would be considerably below .500.

3. If Verlander goes 6-2 in his last eight starts, he will be the first American League pitcher to win 24 or more games since Oakland’s Bob Welch in 1990. He won 27. The last time an A.L. pitcher won exactly 24 games was Roger Clemens in 1986 for Boston. He was named A.L. MVP that season.

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