Indians right-hander Corey Kluber has been named the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He received 17 of the 30 first-place votes. Mariners ace Felix Hernandez received the other 13 and finished second. White Sox lefty Chris Sale came in third.
Kluber was only a mediocre pitcher in 2013 but established himself as a bona fide ace this past year, posting a stellar 2.44 ERA (152 ERA+), 1.095 WHIP, and 269 strikeouts across 235 2/3 innings. Felix had a better ERA (2.14) and WHIP (0.915), but voters are looking beyond traditional statistics these days. And hallelujah to that.
Kluber is the fourth pitcher in Indians franchise history to win the American League Cy Young Award, joining Gaylord Perry (1972), CC Sabathia (2007), and Cliff Lee (2008). The 28-year-old won’t become arbitration-eligible until 2016, so Cleveland should have him on board for at least four more seasons.
The Braves and Marlins have some bad blood, especially concerning Ronald Acuña Jr. Around this time last year, José Ureña intentionally threw at Acuña in the first at-bat of a game, leading to a benches-clearing incident. Acuña was hit on the elbow and exited the game but was ultimately fine. Acuña’s crime? Just being good at baseball. At the time, he had homered in five consecutive games, including three games against the Marlins.
In 2019, the first-place Braves and last-place Marlins have mostly minded their own business. The Marlins, however, can certainly keep a grudge it appears. With his first pitch in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday night in Atlanta, Marlins starter Elieser Hernández hit Acuña in the hip.
Home plate umpire Alan Porter issued warnings to both dugouts. Braves manager Brian Snitker wasn’t happy about his side having received a warning for no reason, and was ejected by first base umpire Mark Wegner. Hernández would hit Adeiny Hechavarría with a pitch in the fourth inning — seemingly unintentionally — and was not ejected. Other than that, there were no more incidents and cooler heads prevailed.
Acuña finished 1-for-4 in the Braves’ 5-1 win. Freddie Freeman hit two home runs and knocked in four runs.