Finalists for 2019 BBWAA awards announced

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The Baseball Writers Association of America has announced the finalists for four awards for the 2019 season: the Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP. The results of the voting, which concluded before the start of the postseason, will be announced on November 11-14.

AL Rookie of the Year

Despite logging only 369 plate appearances, Álvarez is the clear frontrunner for the award. He was one of baseball’s absolute toughest outs since the moment he debuted on June 9, finishing the year with a .313/.412/.655 line along with 27 home runs and 78 RBI. Prorated over 650 PA, that comes out to 48 homers and 137 RBI — MVP-esque.

NL Rookie of the Year

Alonso grabbed the headlines, leading the majors with 53 homers and knocking in 120 runs with a .941 OPS. He also won the 2019 Home Run Derby. Not bad for a rookie. Soroka’s season is not to be forgotten, however. He quietly plugged away, finishing with a 13-4 record, a 2.68 ERA, and a 142/41 K/BB ratio in 174 2/3 innings. He was unmistakably the best pitcher in the rotation and the 21-year-old will easily be the ace of the rotation going into next season.

AL Manager of the Year

  • Rocco Baldelli, Twins
  • Aaron Boone, Yankees
  • Kevin Cash, Rays

No A.J. Hinch, even though his Astros led all of baseball with 107 wins. It was, however, the Astros’ third consecutive 100-win season, so expectations were high. Hinch still exceeded those expectations, but not by nearly as much as other managers did. The Manager of the Year Award is usually an “exceeded expectations” award. Knowing that, Baldelli seems like a strong candidate. Paul Molitor, the 2017 Manager of the Year, was fired after the Twins went 78-84 last year. Baldelli, plus a handful of shrewd acquisitions, helped turn the Twins around to win the AL Central with 101 wins. Boone, in his second year, led the Yankees to another 100-win season.

NL Manager of the Year

  • Craig Counsell, Brewers
  • Mike Shildt, Cardinals
  • Brian Snitker, Braves

If we’re continuing with the “exceeded expectations” theme, Shildt should be the favorite here. Both Counsell and Snitker’s teams made the playoffs last year, while Snitker — who took over for Mike Matheny after 93 games in 2018 — took his team from third place to first place with a three-win improvement. The Braves won the NL East again while the Brewers settled for a Wild Card after winning the division in 2018. The Nationals’ Dave Martinez and the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts are notable omission, but remember that voting is concluded before the start of the postseason.

AL Cy Young

This feels like Cole’s award to lose. Cole led the trio in ERA, FIP, xFIP, strikeouts, and K-rate. Verlander led in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Morton allowed the fewest home runs of the bunch, particularly impressive in the year of the juiced baseball. Still, probably not enough to catapult him over Cole or Verlander.

NL Cy Young

This debate will be interesting. Ryu led in ERA, 2.32 to deGrom’s 2.43 and Scherzer’s 2.92. Ryu also issued the fewest walks of the trio. deGrom logged the most innings at 204 to Ryu’s 182 2/3 and Scherzer’s 172 1/3 innings. deGrom also led in strikeouts, 255 to Scherzer’s 243, though Scherzer of course had the highest K-rate. Scherzer had the best FIP and xFIP. Who you think is most deserving of this award comes down to which stats you weight most.


Trout missed the final three-plus weeks of the regular season, but still finished as the ever-so-slight leader in FanGraphs WAR, 8.6 to Bregman’s 8.5, followed by Semien’s 7.6. Trout also led the group in homers and stolen bases, as well as on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Missing the 90 or so plate appearances may prevent Trout from winning, though, as might Bregman’s versatility. Bregman played third base, but also filled in at shortstop when Carlos Correa was injured. Some voters, however erroneously, factor in whether or not a candidate’s team makes the playoffs and that will of course hurt Trout’s campaign. Semien feels like a lock for No. 3.

Trout, one of the greatest baseball players of all-time, may still be only a two-time MVP Award winner when the results are announced in 10 days.


Yelich is looking to make it two in a row, but it will be a hard road. He missed the last three weeks of the season due to a fractured kneecap. As a result, he ended up deadlocked with Bellinger in WAR, according to FanGraphs. Rendon was a not-so-distant third at an even 7.0. Bellinger led in homers and runs, Yelich led in all three rate stats and stolen bases, while Rendon led in RBI. As with the NL Cy Young, this one will come down to which stats you happen to like.

Nationals blow 6-run lead, rebound to beat Phillies 8-7

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WASHINGTON (AP) Lane Thomas singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals sent the Philadelphia Phillies to their fifth straight loss, winning 8-7 after blowing a six-run lead.

The defending NL champion Phillies have just five victories in their last 18 games and are tied with the Nationals at the bottom of the NL East at 25-32.

“We’ve got to overcome it,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We’ve got to play better, get consistent in all phases and keep moving forward.”

Alex Call drew a two-out walk against Connor Brogdon (2-1) in the eighth, stole second on a low pitch that catcher JT Realmuto couldn’t make a throw on and scored on Thomas’ single to right center.

“The way Lane’s swinging the bat, if you can get on second base, we can win the game,” Call said. “I look over and the ball’s in the dirt, he doesn’t catch it. Now I’m saying: ‘All right, Lane. Come on!’”

Kyle Finnegan (3-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory, stranding the tying run on second in the ninth.

Nick Castellanos homered twice, singled, doubled and drove in five runs for Philadelphia, which had scored just three runs in its past three games.

“There’s definitely a lot of positives as a group,” Castellanos said. “Showing some fight. It would have been really, really easy to lay down and allow the way the game started to be the way that it finished.”

Down 7-1 after four innings, Philadelphia tied it at 7 in the eighth. Brandon Marsh worked a nine-pitch walk against Mason Thompson leading off, and Drew Ellis singled with one out. Finnegan came on to face Kyle Schwarber, who hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop CJ Abrams fielded it behind it behind second base, touched second for one out, but threw wildly to first and Marsh came home with the tying run.

Castellanos’s second homer, a two-run shot to center in the sixth, pulled the Phillies to 7-3 and Marsh added an RBI single in the inning.

In the seventh, Schwarber doubled with one out and Bryson Scott reached on an infield single. Hunter Harvey came on and walked Bryce Harper to load the bases. Castellanos singled to center scoring two runs to make it 7-6.

Luis Garcia homered and Jeimer Candelario doubled twice and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who have won seven of 12.

Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler, coming off eight shutout innings against Atlanta, allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“This one’s on me really,” Wheeler said. “Guys battled back. Just couldn’t finish it out. We know who we have in this room and what we’ve got to do.”

Josiah Gray gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Washington.

Candelario doubled just beyond the reach of left fielder Schwarber to drive in the first of Washington’s two runs in the first.

In the second, Abrams hit a one-out drive to deep center that Marsh misplayed into a double. With two outs and two on, Candelario doubled off the wall in right center to make it 5-0.

Garcia ended Wheeler’s night with a solo homer in the fourth.

“When you come out the way we did, you’ve got to tack on,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It didn’t happen tonight, but we got one more than the other guys.”


Candelario is 9 for 26 (.346) with four doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, five walks, and seven runs scored in his last seven games.


Phillies: Thomson said RHP Taijuan Walker played catch Friday and there are “no worries about his next start.” In a four-inning outing against the Mets on Thursday, Walker’s sinker velocity averaged 90.6 mph, down from 92.7 mph for the season. His fastball, splitter and curveball velocity also dropped.

Nationals: OF Victor Robles (back spasms) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the injured list. … LHP Sean Doolittle (elbow) gave up a run on two hits and struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning working his second straight night for Class A Fredericksburg.


Phillies: LHP Matt Strahm (4-3, 3.20) will start a bullpen game on Saturday.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.57) went seven innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters in his previous outing – a no decision against the Royals.

AP MLB: and