November 14, 2018

Snell, deGrom Win Cy Young Awards (Sale Finishes 4th In AL)

Blake Snell of the Rays won the American League Cy Young Award. Chris Sale received two second-place votes and finished fourth.

Snell's 1.89 ERA was only the fourth time since 1973 (when the AL deviated from proper baseball practice by permitting a DH) that a starting pitcher finished a season with an ERA below 2.00. The other three: Pedro Martinez (1.74 in 2000), Fat Billy from Ohio (1.93 in 1990), and Ron Guidry (1.74 in 1978).

Snell finished the season strong, allowing only nine runs over his final 11 starts (61.2 innings, 1.17 ERA). His batting average allowed of .178 was the fifth lowest ever for a starting pitcher and the lowest since Pedro's all-time record of .167 average in 2000.
                            1st   2nd   3rd   4th   5th   Total
Blake Snell, Rays            17    11     2                 169
Justin Verlander, Astros     13    13     3                 154
Corey Kluber, Cleveland             4    12     7     5      71
Chris Sale, Red Sox                 2     8    12     3      59
Gerrit Cole, Astros                       3     4     9      26
Trevor Bauer, Cleveland                   1     3     4      13
Blake Treinen, A's                        1     3     4      13
Edwin Diaz, Mariners                                  4       4
Luis Severino, Yankees                                1       1
In the National League, Mets starter Jacob deGrom received 29 of 30 first-place votes. His season should be the final nail in the coffin of the antiquated idea that a pitcher's win-loss record is relevant. (But it won't be.)
Scherzer  220.2 IP    2.53 ERA
deGrom    217.0 IP    1.70 ERA
If deGrom had allowed 20 earned runs while recording the 11 outs that separated him from Scherzer's MLB-best innings pitched total, he still would have finished with a better ERA (2.49).

Tim Britton (The Athletic) notes that a team whose starter pitched at least seven innings and allowed two or fewer earned runs won more than 75 percent of the time in 2018. When deGrom did that, the Mets went 8-10. More from Britton:
DeGrom allowed four runs to the Marlins in an April sixth inning [April 10]. He did not allow four in a game after that. ... In his worst month, June, deGrom pitched to a 2.36 ERA. That would have led the league over the course of the season. That mark is better than 11 of the 16 Cy Young winners this decade ...
During one span of seven starts, the Mets totaled 10 runs (and deGrom drove in four of those himself).

From April 21 to June 2 (eight starts), deGrom allowed three runs in 47.1 innings (0.57 ERA). The Mets went 2-6. Add two more starts to that span (April 21 to June 13) and the Mets went 2-8 despite deGrom's ERA of 0.87.

deGrom allowed 0 runs in 9 starts: the Mets went 5-4. He allowed 1 or 2 runs in 17 starts: the Mets went 8-9.


FenFan said...

I'm not sure where I heard this, but I thought to be eligible that a pitcher had to toss at least one inning for every team game played, i.e., 162 IP. Sale finished with 158 IP.

That said, it would probably exclude relief pitchers from being eligible, and I know of at least one (Dennis Eckersley in 1992) that took home the hardware.

Maybe it was only to be recognized for ERA or strikeout leaders?

allan said...

Yeah, it's to qualify among the league leaders. I think it's 3.1 AB per game for batters.

I wonder - as starters throw fewer innings - when they will change it.

Zenslinger said...

The only batting champion in MLB history to hit 30+ home runs and steal 30+ bases. - WOW WOW WOW

First Red Sox player to lead MLB in both average and slugging since Ted Williams (.388/.731 in 1957). - WOW and by the way, WOW TED WILLIAMS

Highest WAR by a position player since 2002 (Barry Bonds, 11.8). - WOW

Wow, Mookie. Just wow.