The race for the 2023 Young Cy Young Award for pitchers is much tighter in the National League. The American League is led by the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole (13-4, 2.81). He leads the AL in innings pitched (192.0) and strikeouts (208).
The NL is very competitive. There are five candidates who will have to stay on their toes and keep their remaining starts in mind.
They are Atlanta Braves’ Spencer Strider (18-5, 3.73), Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zack Galen (16-8, 3.60), San Diego Padres’ lefty Blake Snell (14-9, 2.33), Chicago Cubs’ lefty Justin Steele (16-4, 2.73), and San Francisco Giants’ Logan Webb (10-12, 3.31).
Of the five, the Padres’ Snell, Braves’ Strider and Diamondbacks’ Gallen pitched side-by-side on the 20th. Snell lowered his ERA in a no-decision against the Colorado Rockies with seven innings of four-hit, 10-strikeout ball. He leads the MLB in ERA by 0.40 over the second-place Cubs’ Steele.
“Young Gun” Strider, 24, pitched seven innings of four-hit, 11-strikeout, three-run ball to earn the win over the division rival Philadelphia Phillies. He leads the MLB with 270 strikeouts.
Snell leads in ERA and Strider leads in strikeouts.
Gallen was far from dominant against the wild-card contending Giants, but he pitched five innings of six-hit ball with three walks and six strikeouts in an 8-4 victory. He has been the team’s ace all season.
Steele and Webb will pitch against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Diamondbacks on the 21st.
Webb is a workhorse on the Giants’ mound, even though his win-loss record sits at just under five. He has thrown an MLB-high 201 innings.
The most important metrics for the Cy Young Award are the most basic: wins, ERA, and strikeouts, and the Padres’ Snell, 30, has the advantage in those categories. In recent years, sabermetrics have been a big factor. Snell leads the league in ERA and ranks second in strikeouts with 227, although he’s a bit behind Strider. He also won the AL Cy Young Award in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Snell’s weakness, however, is his innings pitched. In 2018, he also became the all-time Cy Young winner with the fewest innings pitched by a starting pitcher (180.2). He made his debut in 2016 and has pitched exclusively as a starter. He’s pitched 190 games, including a seven-inning no-hitter against Colorado the day before, but he doesn’t have a single complete game. He hasn’t pitched an eight-inning game either. He walks a lot, throws a lot of pitches, and gets hit hard when he bats fourth in the order.
In Game 6 of the 2020 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was criticized for removing Snell in the sixth inning, after he had pitched a solid game with two hits, nine strikeouts, and one run, because he was pitching poorly in the bottom of the order. He is currently 10th in the NL in innings pitched (174).
He also leads the league in strikeouts (97). No pitcher in MLB has ever led the league in strikeouts and ERA at the same time. Despite leading the league in ERA, his WHIP of 1.20 has dropped to 10th in the NL because of walks.
Strider, who will make the final three, also leads the league in total strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings with 13.8. His WHIP of 1.06 is also second only to the Giants’ Webb (1.05).안전놀이터
Snell was the subject of trade speculation during the season due to the Padres’ poor performance. The argument was that since he was a free agent after the season, they should have given up on him and received a prospect. In the end, it was a good thing they kept him. Even though they missed the postseason, it’s fun for fans to see a Cy Young candidate pitch down the stretch.
The last Cy Young Award winner for the San Diego Padres was right-hander Jake Peavy in 2007, when he went 19-6 with a 2.54 ERA and 240 strikeouts to become a unanimous winner.