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Weaver finishes third for AL Cy Young

Weaver finishes third for AL Cy Young

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Weaver finishes third for AL Cy Young
ANAHEIM -- Angels ace Jered Weaver has long been considered a Cy Young-caliber starter.

But he still hasn't won the actual hardware.

In 2012, it was Rays lefty David Price who was instead given the American League's Cy Young Award by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, beating out the Tigers' Justin Verlander and Weaver -- the two other finalists -- in a Wednesday announcement on MLB Network.

The Mets' R.A. Dickey won in the National League, beating out Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals to become the first knuckleballer to win a Cy Young Award.

Weaver finished fifth in 2010, second in 2011 and third in 2012, leaving Bartolo Colon (2005) and Dean Chance (1964) as the only Cy Young winners in Angels history.

In the latest ballot, Price (14 first-place votes) got 153 points and Verlander (13) got 149, making up the closest AL Cy Young vote besides the 1969 tie between the Orioles' Mike Cuellar and the Tigers' Denny McLain.

Weaver was far behind, receiving zero votes for first place, two for second place and 14 for third, collecting 70 total points. The Mariners' Felix Hernandez finished fourth with 41 points and Rays closer Fernando Rodney placed fifth with 38 points -- though the former Angel received the 28th and final first-place vote.

Weaver is also nominated for two of MLB.com's Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards, for best starting pitcher and top pitching moment (the May 2 no-hitter against the Twins). The GIBBYs are voted on by fans and a panel of experts and will be revealed during the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., on Dec. 4.

In some ways, Weaver's 2012 season paled in comparison to the previous one, when he posted a career-low 2.41 ERA in a career-high 235 2/3 innings and finished second to Verlander in Cy Young voting.

In some ways, it was his best yet.

This year, the lanky right-hander won 20 games for the first time, surpassed 100 victories and 1,000 strikeouts for his career and notched his first no-hitter.

"Obviously, to be a part of the 20-win club is awesome," Weaver said. "I never thought that would ever happen in my career. These guys have strapped it up for me for the last 30 starts, and I owe a lot to my teammates for getting me where I am at the end of this year."

Weaver's 20-5 record put him tied with Price for first in wins and winning percentage (.800). His 2.81 ERA was third-best in the AL, trailing only Price (2.56) and Verlander (2.64), and his 1.02 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) was tied with Kershaw for the lowest in the Majors.

As a result of a lower back strain that put him on the shelf for most of June, Weaver ranked 20th in the AL in innings (188 2/3) and tied for 24th in strikeouts (142), which ultimately cost him in this race. But he came up big when healthy, and when the star-studded rotation went bad for about a six-week stretch around the All-Star break, Weaver was the one constant.

That, in manager Mike Scioscia's eyes, made him the Cy Young favorite.

"I think if you break down our team, and especially the circumstances of carrying us for really what was six weeks, we're not in playoff contention, we're not in a pennant race, if it wasn't for what Jered did, just taking the ball every fifth day, coming in and saying, 'Hey, I'll pitch in three days if I have to,' doing whatever," Scioscia said after the regular-season finale. "This guy wants to win. He's a pitcher in the true sense of the word, and in my mind he's the Cy Young winner."

But the BBWAA felt differently -- again.

Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points
David Price, Rays 14 13 1 153
Justin Verlander, Tigers 13 13 2 149
Jered Weaver, Angels 2 14 9 2 70
Felix Hernandez, Mariners 5 10 6 41
Fernando Rodney, Rays 1 5 4 8 38
Chris Sale, White Sox 1 4 6 17
Jim Johnson, Orioles 1 3 5
Matt Harrison, Rangers 2 2
Yu Darvish, Rangers 1 1

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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