DETROIT – Detroit Tigers pitchers Justin Verlander and Michael Fulmer each posted impressive numbers in the 2016 season, putting themselves into strong consideration for postseason awards. Below are some highlights and accomplishments for each pitcher during the 2016 season.
Compiled a 16-9 record with a 3.04 ERA (227.2IP/77ER) with 171 hits allowed, 57 walks and 254 strikeouts in 34 starts.
· Led the American League with 254 strikeouts, the most strikeouts he’s had in a season since 2009 (269)…marked the fourth time in his career he has led the AL in strikeouts…his 254 strikeouts were the most by a pitcher in his age-33 season-or-older since Randy Johnson struck out 290 in 2004…had a career-high eight games with 10-or-more strikeouts, which were the most by a Detroit pitcher since Max Scherzer also had eight games with double-digit strikeouts in 2013.
· Led the AL with a 1.00 WHIP, which was the lowest WHIP he’s had in a season since posting a 0.92 WHIP in 2011.
· Led all AL pitchers with a 6.6 pitchers WAR, while he was fourth with a 3.49 fielding independent pitching (FIP) and sixth with a 136 adjusted ERA+.
· Also ranked second in the AL with a 3.04 ERA, 227.2 innings pitched and a .207 (171×827) opponents batting average, while he was tied for second with 34 games started, third with 10.04 strikeouts per nine innings, tied for fifth with two complete games and tied for sixth with 16 wins.
· Finished the season by allowing three runs-or-fewer in 17 of his last 18 starts dating back to July 1…over the 18-start stretch, posted a 9-3 record with a 1.98 ERA (123.0IP/27ER), 81 hits allowed, 29 walks and 147 strikeouts…led the AL with a 1.98 ERA, 147 strikeouts a .184 opponents batting average and a 0.89 WHIP during the stretch, while he was tied for the AL lead with 123.0 innings pitched.
· Threw a career-long 11 straight quality starts from July 15-September 5, which was the longest streak by an AL pitcher in 2016…led the AL with 27 quality starts in 2016.
· Named the AL Player of the Month for July after compiling a 4-0 record with a 1.69 ERA (42.2IP/8ER) and 48 strikeouts – led the AL with 48 strikeouts in July, while he was tied for the AL lead with 42.2 innings pitched, second with a .171 opponents batting average, tied for second with a 0.89 WHIP, third with a 1.69 ERA and tied for third with four wins.
Posted an 11-7 record with a 3.06 ERA (159.0IP/54ER), 136 hits allowed, 42 walks and 132 strikeouts in 26 starts during his rookie season.
· Led all American League rookie pitchers and finished eighth in the AL with a 4.9 pitchers WAR.
· Among AL pitchers with at least 150.0 innings pitched, Fulmer ranked third with a 3.06 ERA, while he was seventh with a .231 opponents batting average and a 1.12 WHIP.
· Finished his rookie season with 132 strikeouts, which were the second most by a rookie pitcher in Tigers history, trailing only Les Cain, who struck out 156 batters as a rookie in 1970.
· Over a 10-start stretch from May 21-July 17, compiled a 7-1 record with a 0.83 ERA (65.1IP/6ER) and 55 strikeouts – according to the Elias Sports Bureau, since the major leagues began keeping track of earned runs just over 100 years ago, no other pitcher has compiled an ERA that low over a span of 10 successive starts in the season of his major league debut…over the last 50 seasons, the only other rookie to produce an ERA below 1.00 over a span of 10 consecutive starts was Cal Eldred, who had an ERA of 0.95 over a 10-start run for the Brewers in August and September, 1992.
· Had a consecutive scoreless innings streak of 33.1 innings from May 21-June 17…the streak ranks as the longest by a Tigers pitcher in franchise history, and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, the streak was the second longest by a rookie pitcher since 1971, trailing only a streak of 35.0 scoreless innings by Fernando Valenzuela during the 1981 season.
· Threw at least 6.0 shutout innings and allowed three-or-fewer hits in four straight starts from May 27-June 12 – according to the Elias Sports Bureau, since 1893, when the mound was moved to 60 feet, 6 inches away from the plate, Fulmer and Jake Arrieta (September 22, 2015-April 4, 2016) are the only two pitchers to record four consecutive starts of 6.0-or-more shutout innings and three-or-fewer hits allowed.
· Allowed one run-or-fewer in eight starts from May 21-July 1, becoming one of only six pitchers since 1913 to have eight straight starts with one-or-fewer runs allowed, joining Bob Gibson (11 straight starts, June 6-July 30, 1968), Josh Johnson (8 straight starts, May 13-June 20, 2010), Derek Lowe (8 straight starts, August 31, 2008-April 10, 2009), Johan Santana (8 straight starts, August 23-September 29, 2004) and J.R. Richard (8 straight starts, August 3-September 6, 1979).