Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit
By STEVE KORNACKI  |  Last updated 8/18/13
DETROIT Cherish what you are seeing, Tigers fans. What Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer are doing this season is a rare show of dominance by teammates. When the American Leagues MVP and Cy Young winners are announced on separate afternoons in mid-November, its likely that the two players being honored will be the same ones who put on quite a show Sunday at Comerica Park. Cabrera won Saturday nights game with a walk-off home run, and then hit the first pitch on Sunday from Kansas City Royals pitcher Bruce Chen who had not allowed a run in his last 18 23 innings for a two-run homer. Hes running away with the batting title at .360, pulling away from the field with 120 RBIs and has 40 homers to place second in the league. You can throw out the WAR rankings (Mike Trouts leading the AL for the second consecutive year) because that obviously doesnt determine the games most dominating players. The only player having a year comparable to Cabreras is Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (.306, 45 homers, 115 RBIs). Only three batters have exceeded .350 with at least 40 homers and 120 RBIs in their first 116 games of a season, and they were Babe Ruth in 1921 and Jimmie Foxx in 1932, according to STATS LLC. Scherzer allowed only an infield single through the first five innings en route to a 6-3 win that enabled Detroit to take the rubber game in a pivotal, five-game series. He allowed two runs over eight innings for what was his 16th quality start in his last 17 outings, and improved to 18-1. The only other starter who has won 18 of his first 19 decisions was 2001 Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens. Only Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers, Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox and Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners are even close to Scherzer. But none of them has won more than 12 games, and only Darvish has more strikeouts than Scherzers 185. Scherzers 2.82 ERA is fifth in the AL, but only Hernandez (2.47) is below 2.64 from that group. A veteran visiting scribe in the Comerica press box on Sunday said Scherzer will win the Cy Young barring a total collapse in the last six weeks. There have been just 10 teams in AL history to have a position player named MVP and the Cy Young winner in the same season: Hank Aaron and Warren Spahn, 1957 Milwaukee Braves; Nellie Fox and Early Wynn, 1959 Chicago White Sox; Dick Groat and Vern Law, 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates; Roger Maris and Whitey Ford, 1961 New York Yankees; Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Lonborg, 1967 Boston Red Sox; Robin Yount and Pete Vuckovich, 1982 Milwaukee Brewers; Rickey Henderson and Bob Welch (of Eastern Michigan), 1990 Oakland As; Frank Thomas and Jack McDowell, 1993 Chicago White Sox; Miguel Tejada and Barry Zito, 2002 Oakland As; and Justin Morneau and Johan Santana, 2006 Minnesota Twins. Of the 15 players in that group who have been eligible for Hall of Fame voting, eight are in Cooperstown. Its pretty select company that Cabrera and Scherzer could join. And, theyd be the first Tigers to accomplish those accolades together in the same season. On managing the leagues dominating pitcher and hitter in the same season, Jim Leyland said, Ive been blessed, to be honest with you. Thats a pretty good time for old dad in the Motor City. I was the manager. I doubt Ill be a trivia question, but thats OK. You are seeing something thats obviously very unique. Right fielder Torii Hunter has been down this road before, playing with Morneau and Santana on the 2006 Twins. Ive already been part of that, said Hunter. Thats awesome! He paused to clap and smile. Id like to do it again, Hunter added. To be part of something like that again would be freakin awesome. I hit 31 homers that year batting behind Morneau, and we took a photo that I have in my home of the two of us with Santana and Joe Mauer, who won the Silver Slugger. I won a Gold Glove. Cabrera has saved his best work for Scherzer. Hes batting .425 with 10 homers, 32 RBIs and 24 runs in Scherzers 25 starts, according to Matt Mowery of the Oakland Press. Miggy went 0-for-5 in my last start in Chicago, Scherzer said. I told him, Thats unacceptable. You are my guy. But when I asked what he appreciates most about Cabrera, Scherzer said, Honestly, its how hard he plays defensively. So much focus goes to what he does at the plateBut he lays it all out on defense; it shows his character. He does great things at will. Cabrera was headed to shower after his press gathering, but he stopped when asked about what he most appreciates about Scherzer. He keeps us in each and every game, Cabrera said. He always gives us a chance to win, and thats awesome. Theres plenty of awesome going around this season for the Tigers, and that should continue into November with the naming of the MVP and Cy Young winners.
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