NATIONAL NEWS

Gerrit Cole a unanimous winner of his 1st AL Cy Young Award. Blake Snell takes NL prize

Nov 15, 2023, 3:34 PM

FILE - New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth...

FILE - New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) throws against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, in New York. Gerrit Cole was a unanimous winner of his first American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023 and Blake Snell took the NL honor in becoming the seventh hurler to earn baseball’s top pitching prize in both leagues.(AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Gerrit Cole was a unanimous winner of his first American League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, and Blake Snell took the National League honor in becoming the seventh hurler to earn baseball’s top pitching prize in both leagues.

After coming close several times before, Cole finally finished on top following an outstanding season for the New York Yankees. The ace right-hander received all 30 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Minnesota Twins right-hander Sonny Gray was the runner-up with 20 second-place votes, and Kevin Gausman of the Toronto Blue Jays finished third.

Cole went 15-4 with an AL-low 2.63 ERA and 222 strikeouts in 209 innings, leading the league in innings, as well. He became the sixth Yankees pitcher to win a Cy Young and first since Roger Clemens in 2001.

The six-time All-Star twice came in second in Cy Young voting and finished in the top five three other times.

Snell was the NL winner after leading the majors in ERA for the San Diego Padres.

The free-agent lefty was picked first on 28 of 30 ballots. San Francisco Giants right-hander Logan Webb finished second and Zac Gallen of the NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks was third.

Snell, the AL Cy Young Award recipient in 2018 with Tampa Bay, joined Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Clemens, Roy Halladay and Max Scherzer as pitchers to win in both leagues.

Shaking off a dreadful start to the season, Snell went 14-9 with a 2.25 ERA and 234 strikeouts in 180 innings over 32 outings for a disappointing Padres team that finished 82-80 despite baseball’s third-highest payroll.

He was 1-6 with a 5.40 ERA after losing to Boston on May 19, then dominated the rest of the way despite topping the majors with 99 walks this year. Harnessing his 95-96 mph heater and overpowering curve, Snell won eight of his last nine decisions and did not allow a run in five of his final six starts — including the last three.

Snell gave up only 5.75 hits per nine innings, by far the best mark in the majors. All those stingy numbers while he was on the mound were more than enough to beat out Webb (11-13, 3.25 ERA) and Gallen (17-9, 3.47), who each logged at least 210 innings. Both got one first-place vote.

Snell, who turns 31 next month, became a free agent after the World Series and rejected a $20,325,000 qualifying offer from the Padres on Tuesday to pursue a more lucrative contract.

The four previous San Diego pitchers to win the Cy Young Award were Randy Jones (1976), Perry (1978), reliever Mark Davis (1989) and Jake Peavy (2007).

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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Gerrit Cole a unanimous winner of his 1st AL Cy Young Award. Blake Snell takes NL prize