In a disappointing season for the Diamondbacks, Zac Gallen was one of the few bright spots. While his 3-2 record didn’t reflect how well he pitched over his 12 appearances, he set a major-league record by holding the opposition to three runs or less in each of his first 23 starts. He ended the year with a 2.75 ERA, striking out 82 batters in just 72 innings of work. Zac gave the Diamondbacks nine quality starts: everyone else in the Arizona rotation this year, combined for only four. And his success was rewarded today, with Gallen being mentioned on two ballots for the National League Cy Young award, which was won by former Diamondback Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds.
Zac was listed in fifth spot on two ballots. One of those was by Steve Gilbert, the local beat reporter on MLB.com, who gave the first four slots to Trevor Bauer, Yu Darvish, Jacob deGrom and Dinelson Lamet respectively. The other was from a colleague of Gilbert at MLB.com, Mark Bowman, who had the same choices. That quarter took the top four places in order, so I don’t think there was any copying involved. :) There were no D-backs mentioned in Cy Young voting last year, with the previous Arizona pitcher to be listed being Patrick Corbin, who came in 5th in the 2018 season. Gallen ended level with the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks, and some guy called Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers*.
Bauer won. behind 27 of the 30 available first-place votes, with Darvish getting the other three. There was even more unanimity in the American League, where the Indians’ Shane Bieber got all 30 first-place selections. Tomorrow ends the MLB awards week, with the announcement of the MVPs for both leagues. No D-backs made it into the final three, but maybe there’ll be room for one down the ballot somewhere; if so, we’ll be here to write something up about it. Below, you can find a full breakdown of the voting for the National League Cy Young.