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Justin Verlander's Start Shows Fickleness Of Pitcher Wins

Justin Verlander went 24-5 last year, winning the American League MVP as well as the pitcher's Triple Crown—wins, ERA, and strikeouts—by a significant margin. It was one of the best pitching seasons in years, and great as Jose Bautista was I can't find fault with the voters' decision. This year, going into tonight's matchup against 10-1 Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals, he's gone 6-4. He's pitching almost exactly as well. He won't win the MVP.

Seriously, find the difference in his performance: In 2011 he averaged 7.3 innings per start, in 2012 7.26. In 2011 he struck out 25.8% of the batters he faced, in 2012 he struck out 25.9% of the batters he faced. He's allowed far fewer home runs per inning this year than last.

He's just not winning as much. If you believe that's his fault, feel free to continue paying attention to pitcher wins as a measure of pitcher quality. And please tell me what he could have done differently. As for me, I'll go back to being terrified about his pitching against the Cardinals.