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Is Justin Verlander not one of five best pitchers in AL? Not that dumb a question

Justin Verlander, as we graphically learned Wednesday night, was left off two of 30 ballots in the voting for the American League Cy Young Award .One of the voters who kept him off, Bill Chastain of, told the New York Daily News he sent in his ballot before Verlander made his final two starts of the season; those starts significantly lowered Verlander’s ERA and padded his league-leading strikeout total. Chastain also said he simply went with his top five at the time of his submi sion.Why wasn’t Verlander in his top five regardle s?First, look at Chastain’s ballot: eventual winner Rick Porcello; Zach Britton; Corey Kluber; Chris Sale; and Masahiro Tanaka. Not a slouch in the group, at least in terms of 2016 performance.MORE: Kluber named SP on SN’s AL All-Star teamSecond, all of them pitched more often against the Rays than did Verlander, so they had more opportunities to show Chastain they were better choices.Third, all of them pitched very well against the team Chastain covers every day:Porcello: 5-0, 3.07 ERA, 46 strikeouts, five walks in 41 innings.Britton: 1.13 ERA, 8 for 8 in save opportunities, nine strikeouts, one walk in eightinnings.Kluber: 1-1, 1.62 ERA, 13 strikeouts in 13 innings. One of the starts was a three-hit shutout in June.Sale: 2-0, 1.69 ERA, 16 strikeouts in 16 innings. One of the starts was a two-hit shutout in April.Tanaka: 4-0,2.88 ERA, 34 strikeouts, three walks in 34 1/3 innings.MORE: Ex-Tiger Scherzer becomes sixth AL-NL Cy winnerCombine those results with the pitchers’ overall bodiesof work,and it’s understandable that each pa sed a voter’s « eye test. » (This is starting to sound too much like what the College Football Playoff committee does.)Verlander should have pa sed the eye test, too, though. He pitched just once against the Rays, but he allowed one earned run and struck out eight over seven innings in July. He was credited with one of his 16 wins.Overall, he finished second in the AL with a 3.04 ERA (Porcello was fifth at 3.15)and led the league witha 1.00WHIP (Porcello was second at 1.01),254 strikeouts and a 6.6 bWAR (well ahead of Porcello in both categories).Those two final-week starts greatly Jed Lowrie Jersey aided Verlander’s numbers. With the Tigers fighting for a wild-card berth, Verlander allowed just one run and fanned 20 over 141/3 innings. He went 1-1, but the lo s was 1-0 to the Braves in the Braves’ final game ever at Turner Field.MORE: Sale might not be only ace traded this offseasonWas Verlander merely a victim of bad timing, then? No, there were statistical reasons not to vote for him at all, as dumb as that might sound.His 3.48 FIP was fourth in the AL, but Kluber, Porcello and Sale all finished ahead of him and Tanaka (3.51) was just behind him. Kluber, Porcello and Tanaka all had better adjusted ERA+ figures (Verlander was sixth in the league). Porcello, Kluber and Sale all had more wins and Tanaka was two behind (sorry, « Kill the win » crowd). Porcello, Sale and Tanaka hadbetter strikeout-to-walk ratios (Verlander was seventh). Verlander was not among the top 10 in fewest home runs allowed per nine innings; Kluber, Porcello and Tanaka were. Britton merely allowed four earned runs total in 67 innings and a .333 OPS in 131 high-leverage plate appearances.None of that even takes into account what Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez did. He led the AL with a 3.00 ERA, was sixth in FIP and was fifth in Win Probability Added, behind Britton and Verlander but ahead of Tanaka, Kluber and Sale.Bottom line: Choosing a top five was a tough call that, in one voter’s case, was affected by when his ballot was cast and, perhaps, a subtle bias caused by seeing the other pitchers in person more often.In fact, the numbers say Verlander may have received more first-place votes (a league-most 14) than he should have (Kluber hasan argument for receiving more than three), and there were just enough pitchers,in the final analysis,to crowd him off more than two ballots.

Mets minor leaguer attacked by homeless man with tire iron

Mets minor league pitcher Logan Taylor is recovering from a concu sion after being attacked by a Andy Pettitte Jersey homele s man over the weekend.Salt Lake City police told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that a man later identified as Joshua Cruz hit Taylor in the back of the head with a tire iron Saturday after demanding the pitcher’s wallet. Cruz also was carrying a sock filled with rocks at the time of the attack.Taylor is a 25-year-old reliever for the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s, who were in town for a series against the Salt Lake Bees. Las Vegas manager Pedro Lopez told the Review-Journal Taylor needed six or seven staples in his head to close the wound.Thank you to everybody who has reached out to me to check on me, it has meant a lot and I’ll be back out there soon. Logan Taylor J.R. Richard Jersey (@Loganreese36) July 4, 2017Lopez said two other 51s players witne sed the attack.They tried to go after the guy when they realized it was Logan, but (the police) ended up catching the guy later on, Lopez said.Taylor, an Oklahoma native in his sixth season with the Mets organization, has been played on the seven-day disabled list. The Mets told the Review-Journal they had no comment on the incident.

Dusty Baker, Bud Black reportedly finalists for Nationals job

The Nationals reportedly have narrowed their list for a new manager down to Dusty Baker and Bud Black.According to CBS Sports , Baker and Black have been called to conduct second interviewsand Washington likely will select one of them to replace Matt Williams, who was fired Justin Upton Jersey after the season.MORE: Six po sible replacements for Matt Williams Baker Darin Erstad Jersey , a three-time manager of the year, is expected to meet in Washington on Monday for his second interview. Baker haspreviously managed for theGiants, Cubs and Reds with a 1,671-1,504 (.526) record.Black, who has a 649-713 record in eight-plus seasons,was fired by the Padres after starting this season 32-33. However, he was named NL Manager of the Year in 2010.Some of the other candidates the Nationals interviewed wereex-Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, Giants coach Ron Wotus, Dodgers coach Tim Wallach, and TV analyst Alex Cora. But it appears they’ve been eliminated from contention.