Originally written on Leelanau Sports Guy's World  |  Last updated 6/29/14
It wasn’t too hard to figure out who was going to win MLB’s Delivery Man of the Year award this season since Detroit Tigers’ reliever Jose Valverde was perfect with 49 saves in 49 opportunities. Valverde is just the second Tiger to be honored as the league’s best relief pitcher. Other pitchers who earned votes were John Axford (Milwaukee), Craig Kimbrel (Atlanta) and Joel Hanrahan (Pittsburgh). Oddly enough, Valverde never won any of the six monthly Delivery Man of the Month awards during the regular season. It seemed there was always somebody a step ahead of him on a monthly basis. But when you look at the numbers for the whole season, Valverde’s pitching performance stands out as is one of the best in MLB history. Along with the 49 saves, Valverde actually had a losing record of 2-4. But his ERA was an excellent 2.24 ERA and in 72 1/3 inning he only allowed 52. He struck out 69 batters and walked 34. Opposing batters just managed to hit .198 against Valverde. The numbers were even...

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