It's been a couple weeks of ups and downs for the Astros. They lost a tough seven game World Series, fired their assistant GM after comments he made during the celebration after the ALCS, found themselves in the middle of a mess related to their inadequate response to said assistant GM's comments and, most recently, were accused of electronically stealing signs in 2017.
Mixed in there, however, was an AL Rookie of the Year for Yordan Alvarez and, on Wednesday, the second AL Cy Young Award for veteran ace Justin Verlander. Verlander beat out fellow Astro starter Gerrit Cole and former Astros pitcher Charlie Morton (now with Tampa Bay). Cole received 13 to Verlander's 17 first place votes.
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As great as Cole was in the last two months of the regular season and throughout the postseason, Verlander's consistent brilliance from the season's start — despite his continued struggles in the World Series — and his third career no hitter put him over the top.
Verlander had a career best 300 strikeouts in 223 innings including a 21-9 record with a 2.58 ERA and 0.803 WHIP.
Verlander and Cole made the best pair of starters in baseball and led the Astros to their best record in franchise history. Even at 36 year old, Verlander continues to be one of the most dominant starters in the American League.
With all the issues that have cropped up for the Astros over the last few weeks, adding another trophy to the mantle for one of their star players should help ease at least a little of the tension for the moment.