Blake Snell, Jacob deGrom win 2018 Cy Young Awards

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The 2018 Cy Young Award results are in. Your winners are Blake Snell of the Rays in the American League and Jacob deGrom of the Mets in the National League.

Snell, 25, won a major league-best 21 games with only five losses and posted an AL-best 1.89 ERA with 221 strikeouts and 64 walks in 180 2/3 innings. The lefty is the first member of the Rays to win the Cy Young Award since David Price in 2012. Snell and Price are the only Cy Young winners in Rays history.

Snell received 17 first-place votes and narrowly finished ahead of Astros ace Justin Verlander in total points with 169. Verlander had 13 first-place votes and 154 total points. Indians ace Corey Kluber finished a distant third with 71 points. Also receiving votes were Chris Sale of the Red Sox, Gerrit Cole of the Astros, Trevor Bauer of the Indians, Blake Treinen of the Athletics, Edwin Díaz of the Mariners, and Luis Severino of the Yankees.

The 2018 AL Cy Young Award debate was anything but one-sided. While Snell had the ERA edge over the competition, Verlander pitched about 35 more innings and led the league with 290 strikeouts. Interestingly, neither writer from the Tampa Bay chapter voted for Verlander higher than third place. Mark Didtler, an AP freelancer, had Verlander third while Bill Madden of the New York Daily News had Verlander in fourth place behind Blake Treinen. If a chapter doesn’t have enough members, a member from another chapter will represent that city. Madden was a replacement voter.

For the first time since 2015, Max Scherzer is not the NL Cy Young Award winner. As expected, deGrom took home the hardware despite a 10-9 record, showing that the BBWAA electorate has, generally, gotten with the times by not regarding win-loss records as highly as they used to. deGrom put up a historically great and best-in-baseball 1.70 ERA along with 269 strikeouts and 46 walks over 217 innings. deGrom and Zack Greinke (1.66 in 2015) are the only pitchers to post a 1.70 ERA or lower dating back to 1996. It had only been done four other times since 1969: by Greg Maddux twice (1994-95), Dwight Gooden (1985), and Nolan Ryan (1981).

deGrom almost won the award unanimously, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes with 207 total points. Scherzer got the other first-place vote with 123 total points. The Phillies’ Aaron Nola finished in third place with 86 points. Also receiving votes were Kyle Freeland of the Rockies, Patrick Corbin of the Diamondbacks, Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals, Josh Hader of the Brewers, Mike Foltynewicz of the Braves, and Jon Lester of the Cubs.

deGrom is the first Met to win the Cy Young Award since R.A. Dickey in 2012. Other Cy Young winners from the Mets include Dwight Gooden (1985), and Tom Seaver (1969, ’73, ’75).

Phillies’ 6-run ninth tops Cardinals in 6-3 wild-card win

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ST. LOUIS — Philadelphia scored six times in the ninth inning off the stingy St. Louis bullpen, highlighted by a bases-loaded single by Jean Segura, and the Phillies beat the NL Central champion Cardinals 6-3 on Friday in the opening game of their National League wild-card series.

The Cardinals, who were 74-3 on the season when leading after eight innings, were poised to put away another close game after Juan Yepez connected for the first go-ahead pinch-hit homer in franchise history with two outs in the seventh inning.

But after struggling all afternoon against Jose Quintana and the St. Louis bullpen, the Phillies finally got their powerful offense going against Ryan Helsley. JT Realmuto began the ninth-inning rally with a single, and walks for Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos loaded the bases before the All-Star closer plunked Alec Bohm to score a run.

The Cardinals training staff came out to check on Helsley, who had jammed the middle finger on his pitching hand earlier in the week in Pittsburgh. He tried to throw another warmup pitch but was pulled for Andre Pallante, who gave up Segura’s hit through the right side of the infield that put Philadelphia in front.

Edmundo Sosa added a run when he brazenly scored on Bryson Stott‘s grounder to first base, and Brandon Marsh drove in another run when a tough hop got past Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong.

By the time Kyle Schwarber added a sacrifice fly, Phillies reliever Zach Eflin had plenty of wiggle room in the ninth.

It looked as if Eflin might need it, too, when Nolan Arenado and Dylan Carlson reached base and Nolan Gorman hit a two-out single to right. But Eflin responded by striking Yadier Molina to end the game, leaving Philadelphia a win away from facing NL East champion Atlanta in the divisional round.

There was a sentimental breeze sweeping through Busch Stadium before the game. Ozzie Smith cheerfully walked to the mound to deliver a ceremonial first pitch, and if the flag-waving Cardinals fans packed into every nook and cranny closed their eyes during introductions, they might have thought they were watching a game a generation ago.

After all, some familiar faces were in the lineup from the last time St. Louis and Philadelphia met in the playoffs.

That was 11 years ago to the day Friday, when the Cardinals beat the Phillies in a dramatic pitchers’ duel between Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay in Game 5 of the NL divisional series. Molina and Albert Pujols played for St. Louis that night while erstwhile ace Adam Wainwright, pitching out of the bullpen this series, also was there to celebrate.

Just like that night in Philadelphia, pitching dominated most of Friday’s series opener.

Quintana, who arrived in a deadline trade from Pittsburgh, was masterful for the Cardinals, allowing only a single to Matt Vierling and a double to Bohm while pitching into the sixth. His day was done after fanning Schwarber for the second time on his 75th pitch, handing the game over to a relief corps that had been downright dominant this season.

Zack Wheeler was the equal of Quintana, allowing a leadoff single to Lars Nootbaar and nothing else until Tommy Edman‘s leadoff single in the sixth. Edman was left stranded on third when Paul Goldschmidt grounded out.

Wheeler departed after retiring Arenado to start the seventh. He struck out four and walked one on 96 pitches, his most since Aug. 20, shortly before the right-hander landed on the injured list with forearm tendinitis.

Then it came down to the bullpens, and the Phillies managed to overcome one of the best in the game.

UP NEXT

The Phillies will try for the wild-card sweep on Saturday night when they send right-hander Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA) to the mound. He was stellar his last time out against Houston in clinching Philadelphia’s wild-card playoff spot.

The Cardinals will turn to right-hander Miles Mikolas (12-13, 3.29 ERA) to force a decisive Game 3. Mikolas struggled in a tune-up out of the bullpen in Pittsburgh but allowed one earned run over his last two starts.