New York — After a season marred by narrow defeats, Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom became a runaway winner.
DeGrom easily won the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday night, a reward for a historically fruitless season in Flushing. The right-hander won just 10 games, the fewest ever by a Cy Young-winning starter.
DeGrom easily beat out Washington’s Max Scherzer, a former Tiger, who was seeking a third straight Cy Young and fourth overall. DeGrom got 29 first-place votes and 207 points from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Scherzer had the other first-place vote.
Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays narrowly beat out past winners, a former Tiger Justin Verlander and Corey Kluber, for his first American League Cy Young after leading the majors with 21 victories.
In his first season after chopping off his distinctive long hair, deGrom cut down hitters from start to finish despite little help from teammates. He had a 1.70 ERA, the lowest in the NL since Zack Greinke’s 1.66 mark in 2015.
Yet the 30-year-old right-hander went 10-9, eclipsing the low bar among starters set by Seattle’s Felix Hernandez when he took the award with 13 victories in 2010.
Snell got 17 first-place votes and 169 points to 13 first-place votes and 154 points for Verlander. Kluber had 71 points, followed by Boston’s Chris Sale and Houston’s Gerrit Cole.
Snell led the AL with a 1.89 ERA. The 25-year-old pitched just 180 2/3 innings, 33 1/3 fewer than Verlander, but his dominance was enough to sway the electorate.
Scherzer went 18-7 with a 2.53 ERA and led the majors with 220 2/3 innings and 300 strikeouts. He was attempting to become the first player since Randy Johnson to win three consecutive Cy Youngs. He got the first-place vote of John Maffei of the San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 seconds and 123 points.
Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies was third with 86 points, followed by Colorado’s Kyle Freeland and Arizona’s Patrick Corbin.
Verlander led the AL with 290 strikeouts while going 16-9 with a 2.52 ERA for AL West champion Houston.
This is his third second-place finish since winning the Cy Young and MVP in 2011 with Detroit.
Around the horn
The Indians traded versatile infielder Erik Gonzalez to the Pittsburgh Pirates as part of a five-player swap.
The AL Central champions sent the 27-year-old Gonzalez, who appeared in 81 games for the Indians last season, along with minor league right-handers Tahnaj Thomas and Dante Mendoza to the Pirates for outfielder Jordan Luplow and infielder Max Moroff.
... Phillies manager Gabe Kapler is among the homeowners who lost their house in Southern California’s wildfires.