Burnes and Ray are the Cy Young of 2021

Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes won the National League Cy Young Award, while Toronto Blue Jays left-handed pitcher Robbie Ray did the same in the American League. Wednesday night.

In a close vote at the Old Circuit, Burnes beat the Phillies ‘Zack Wheeler, who finished second, and the Dodgers’ Max Scherzer (3rd). Burnes and Wheeler both got 12 first-place votes (the other six went to Scherzer), but the Milwaukee got nine second-to-four from the Philadelphia ace. Burnes finished with 151 points to Wheeler’s 141.

The only argument against Burnes is that he was 19th in the NL with 167 innings pitched. That’s a dozen fewer than the episodes Scherzer threw and 46 fewer than those of Major League Baseball leader Wheeler. But that wasn’t Burnes’s fault. He missed two weeks early in the season after testing positive for COVID-19, but took the ball regularly amid a rotation that, for much of the season, was six starters in a team effort to keep them healthy. its serpentineros. The plan worked, with Milwaukee winning 95 games and the NL Central title. Manager Craig Counsell has said he would do the same again if given the opportunity.

Counsell repeatedly said that inning criticism shouldn’t affect Burnes in the Cy Young fight, after a historic season in which he struck out 58 batters before giving his first base (a record), he struck out 10 Cubs. back-to-back in an August start (tied a mark) and teamed with Josh Hader in September to pitch the second career no-hitter in Brewers history.

Burnes was 11-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 28 starts and finished the season leading the majors in earned run average, strikeout rate (35.6%), K / BB ratio (6.88), FIP (1.63) and potting rate (2.9%). Only Scherzer had a better WHIP than Burnes’ 0.94. And since 1969, only the Dominican and Hall of Famer Pedro Martínez (1999), had a better FIP.

First Blue Jay to win since 2003

Ray, who garnered 29 of the 30 first-place votes, is the first Blue Jays pitcher to take this honor since Hall of Famer Roy Halladay did it in 2003. Cole, who finished in the second place, got the other vote for 1st place. Lynn finished third.

Last offseason, the Blue Jays said one of the club’s priorities was to throw more strikes. Before long, they signed Robbie Ray, who had just led the majors in walks, for a year and $ 8 million. Contradictory as that sounded, it ended up working.

Ray had the best season of his career and one of the best for a left-handed Blue Jays pitcher. With a 2.84 ERA in 193.1 innings and 284 strikeouts, the most in the Big Top, Ray was not just a dominant starter, but Toronto’s ace.

Ray’s talent has always been evident, so what happened was not the result of a big change in his mechanics, but rather of making the proper adjustments with pitching coach Pete Walker and being confident in the effectiveness of his deliveries when he throws them in. the strike zone. So it was that it reinvented itself. It’s hard to describe what a pitcher who is pitching with confidence in his abilities looks like, but if you saw any of Ray’s starts in 2021, you know what we’re talking about.

It’s hard to imagine what the Blue Jays would have been like in 2021 without Ray. Hyun Jin Ryu did not have a good year, with a 4.37 ERA and early in the season, the club did not have a clear second starter. Without Ray, Toronto wouldn’t have fought until the final day for the postseason as they did thanks to that 91-71 record. As such, Ray will be one of the hottest names in the free-agent market, with plenty of teams interested, including Toronto.


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Burnes and Ray are the Cy Young of 2021