Saturday, April 17, 2021

Not the Most Exciting Package

Today, we have just a two-card package with base cards from a parallel set.  It's not terribly exciting, but any time I can knock off a couple cards from my wantlist is good.  Both of these guys are united by a close awards vote with Justin Verlander.

I said in my post yesterday that I needed to get more Rick Porcello cards.  Even though he is no longer with the team, he made a big impact.  His stint in Boston was kind of rocky, as he had a pretty bad year in 2015 after being acquired from the Tigers for Yoenis Cespedes.  I always thought they should have given Cespedes more of a chance, but he kind of rankled the coaching staff and did not look like he really wanted to be in Boston.  Porcello improved immensely in 2016, winning that Cy Young Award.  It looks weird going through the list of winners of the award and seeing his name, but that does not mean he did not deserve it.  There was no clear-cut winner of the award and Porcello had a great stretch-run and led the league in wins.  Justin Verlander finished second with a slightly lower ERA, considerably more strikeouts, but a lot more walks and half a dozen fewer wins.  Verlander actually had more first-place votes than Porcello, but was left off of a couple of ballots entirely.  Other pitchers with great seasons were Corey Kluber and closer Zach Britton.

Jacoby Ellsbury lost the 2011 MVP vote to Justin Verlander.  That one still bugs me.  Ellsbury was awesome in 2011, though it was the only such season in his career.  He led the league in total bases (364) and won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger and was the first Red Sox player to join the 30/30 club.  Ellsbury hit .321/.376/.552 with 32 home runs, 119 runs scored, 212 hits, 105 RBIs and 39 stolen bases.  Verlander had a great season, leading the league in wins (24), ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250).  I am not disputing he had a terrific season, but I still think Ellsbury was more valuable primarily due to the fact that he played every day and put up those numbers as a leadoff hitter.  Had Boston made the postseason (they were infamously eliminated on the final day of the season), I suspect he might have won.

1 comment:

  1. I was thrilled that Porcello won the Cy and not disappointed that Ellsbury lost the MVP. Maybe that's because Porcello is a local guy or because I knew Ells would cash in and leave Boston, but I kind of feel like Verlander came out even on this - even if the award he won might not have been the one he deserved.