Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Blake Snell, Jacob deGrom win 2018 Cy Young Awards

Jacob de Grom and Felix Hernandez Modal Trigger Jacob de Grom and Felix Hernandez Paul J. Bereswill Reuters
Isaac Mcdaniel | 17 November, 2018, 16:27

Blake Snell's transformation is complete: From high-potential prospect to one of the baseball's best pitchers.

Thus did Scherzer, whose 2.53 ERA ranked third in the NL behind deGrom and Nola (2.37), come up short in his quest for back-to-back-to-back Cy Young Awards, a feat previously achieved only by Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson.

Rays left-hander Blake Snell and Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom have won the Cy Young Awards in their respective leagues, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced on Wednesday night. In the end, Snell narrowly edged out Verlander on the weighted ballot system, with 169 total points to Verlander's 154. Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, and Gerrit Cole also received serious consideration for the award. Both are first-time winners of the award for best pitcher in each league, and both were more than deserving of the honor.

Over the last 50 years, only five pitchers have posted a lower ERA than deGrom's in 2018.

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And so, we appear to be at the end of Bell's career in Pittsburgh. Bell is ineligible to play football this year. Bell's saga with the Steelers is over.

Context is important too: As the Rays tried the "bullpenning" experiment through 2018, Snell was their go-to rotation ace that they could count on. Snell was a stalwart for a most unusual pitching staff, taking the ball every fifth day while manager Kevin Cash successfully experimented with reliever "openers" to start games in between.

The AL Cy Young was one of the toughest awards to pick this year, as Snell, Verlander and Kluber each had compelling cases. One can only imagine that the Rays would love to lock Snell up to a long-term pact, but a historically dominant campaign has unequivocally raised the asking price for the newest Tampa Bay ace.

Verlander led the AL with 290 strikeouts while going 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA for AL West champion Houson. He went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA for AL Central champion Cleveland and led the AL with 215 innings.

Snell had a 1.89 ERA, third best in the AL since the DH was introduced, trailing only Ron Guidry (1.74) in 1978 and Pedro Martinez (1.74) in 2000. He also ended the year with 24 straight quality starts which is the longest single-season streak in Major League Baseball history. deGrom's quality start streak is the third longest overall in Major League Baseball history (Bob Gibson, 26 straight, 1967-1968).

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