One vote was very, very close, the other wasn’t so much. Rick Porcello was named the AL Cy Young winner Wednesday despite not earning the most first-place votes while Max Scherzer won in runaway fashion in the NL.
For Porcello, an unlikely season as the Boston Red Sox’s best pitcher ended with an unlikely result. He got only eight first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America, but his 18 second-place votes carried to his first Cy Young. Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers finished second despite 14 first-place votes. Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians finished third. Porcello beat Verlander in the overall vote by only five points.
Scherzer, meanwhile, proved he’s the guy who can beat the Chicago Cubs and he did so pretty convincingly. Scherzer received 25 of 30 first-place votes. Jon Lester finished second and Kyle Hendricks was third. Notably: Jose Fernandez, the Miami Marlins ace who died in a September boating accident finished seventh.
By winning in the NL, Scherzer has now won the Cy Young in both leagues, having won it in 2013 with the Detroit Tigers. He’s now the sixth pitcher in MLB history to win the Cy Young in both leagues. He’s also the first pitcher in Nationals franchise history to win the award.
Scherzer’s Cy Young case hung on a few of baseball’s top pitching pillars — he led the NL with 20 wins, led all of baseball with 284 strikeouts and logged a workhorse-like 228 1/3 innings, which also led the National League.
There were a lot of great pitchers in the NL this year (as proof, we haven’t even mentioned Madison Bumgarner of Noah Syndergaard yet) but Scherzer had the best across-the-board case. In addition to the wins, Ks and innings, he had a very respectable 2.96 ERA in 34 starts.
Here’s a full rundown of the NL voting:
On the AL side, Porcello, the surprise pitching star of the Red Sox rotation, proved one of the great things about sports: you never know what could happen.
Porcello was 22-4 with a 3.15 ERA, an epic turnaround from 2015 when he was 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA. Porcello, 27, also logged 223 innings, creating a tried-and-true Cy Young case. On the advanced-stats front, Porcello’s 5.2 Wins Above Replacement, according to Fangraphs, tied him for the best mark in the AL.
Here’s the full rundown of votes:
It’s worth noting that two AL Cy Young voters — Fred Goodall and Bill Chastain — didn’t put Verlander on their ballots at all.
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