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MLB Cy Young: 2021: Brewers’ Corbin Burnes edges Phillies’ Zack Wheeler for National League award

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The National League Cy Young race was one of the closest awards races in the baseball this year, and on Wednesday night, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Corbin Burnes had won the 2021 award in a narrow vote. Phillies righty Zack Wheeler was right behind Burnes and finished second in the voting. Max Scherzer finished third.

Burnes and Wheeler each received 12 of 30 first-place votes, though Burnes received more second-place votes (14 to 9) to take home the award. Scherzer received the other six first place votes. Here are the points totals (five points for a first place vote, four points for a second place vote, three points for a third place vote, etc.):

  1. Burnes: 151
  2. Wheeler: 141
  3. Scherzer: 113

The 10-point margin for victory is the smallest in NL Cy Young history. This is also the second time the winner and runner-up finished with the same number of first place votes. In 1981, Dodgers lefty Fernando Valenzuela and Reds righty Tom Seaver each received eight first place votes, and Valenzuela won the award on total points 70-67.

Burnes, 27, just wrapped up an incredible season in which he became the first pitcher in the Modern Era (since 1900) to lead all qualified pitchers in strikeout rate, walk rate, and home run rate. The rate stats dominance allowed Burnes to overcome throwing considerably fewer innings than Scherzer and especially Wheeler.

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Here’s how the three National League Cy Young finalists stacked up:

Corbin Burnes, Brewers

11-5

167

2.43

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176

12.6

1.8

5.6

Max Scherzer, Nationals/Dodgers

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15-4

179 1/3

2.92

154

11.8

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1.8

6.0

Zack Wheeler, Phillies

14-10

213 1/3

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2.78

150

10.4

1.9

7.6

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The 11 wins are the fewest ever for a Cy Young award winning starting pitcher in a full 162-game season. Between Burnes this year and Blake Snell’s AL Cy Young in 2018, it’s clear voters are beginning to prefer rate stats dominance over bulk innings. The best pitcher on a per-innings basis is the Cy Young favorite.

Burnes is the third Brewers pitcher to win the Cy Young award, joining Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers (1981) and Pete Vuckovich (1982). That was back when the Brewers were part of the American League, so Burnes is the first pitcher in franchise history to win the National League award.

As a finalist, Scherzer was guaranteed his eighth career top-five finish in the Cy Young voting, the fourth most in history behind Roger Clemens (10) and Hall of Famers Randy Johnson and Greg Maddux (nine each).

Other National League hurlers to receive Cy Young votes this season include Dodgers righty Walker Buehler and Brewers righty Brandon Woodruff. The full NL voting results are available at the BBWAA’s site.

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WATCH: Mariners’ Robbie Ray, Royals’ Luke Weaver ejected before game for national anthem standoff

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Seattle Mariners left-hander Robbie Ray and Kansas City Royals righty reliever Luke Weaver were both ejected prior to the start of Sunday’s game after competing in a lengthy “standoff” following the completion of the national anthem. 

Ray and Weaver, who used to be teammates with the Arizona Diamondbacks, engaged in some theatrics as they both refused to return to their respective dugouts after the anthem. Their game of chicken saw them get toweled down and delivered water by their teammates. The deadlock delayed the afternoon’s first pitch by several minutes and was caught on camera. Press play below and enjoy:

As you can see, the umpiring crew grew impatient with Ray and Weaver’s displays of civil disobedience, demanding they quit goofing around and that they leave the field so that the contest could begin. Evidently Ray and Weaver waited too long to acquiesce, resulting in both being ejected from the game.

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For those wondering, Ray was the “winner,” a fact that the Mariners celebrated on their official Twitter account. Take a look:

Ray, for his part, was not scheduled to partake in Sunday’s game regardless of his ejection. The Mariners are instead starting right-hander Luis Castillo, who signed a long-term extension to remain in town on Saturday. Ray had most recently pitched on Wednesday, putting him in line to appear again on Tuesday. The Mariners have Monday off before beginning a series at home against the Texas Rangers.

Weaver, meanwhile, has not pitched since last Sunday. Seeing as how he’s the only Royals reliever to not appear in a game this week — a development that likely has as much to do with his below-average production this season as anything — it’s reasonable to think that he may have been in line for action at some point on Sunday. Oh well. 

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Tigers' Riley Greene makes an ABSURD catch to rob Andrew Vaughn of a home run

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Andrew Vaughn was robbed of a home run, thanks to Riley Greene’s amazing catch for the Detroit Tigers in the fourth inning.



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NFL Week 3: Ravens-Pats, Chiefs-Colts, more; Tua returns vs. Bills

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Saints-Panthers, Ravens-Patriots and Bills-Dolphins highlight Sunday’s NFL action. Here are the top plays from Week 3!



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