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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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Raptors close out season-long road trip with hard-fought win over Grizzlies

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Pascal Siakam scored 19 points, including a pair of free throws with 9 seconds left, and the Toronto Raptors rallied from a 15-point deficit to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 106-103 on Sunday.

Jaren Jackson Jr. missed a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left that would have tied the game for the Grizzlies, who played without star Ja Morant because of right wrist soreness.

Toronto won its second straight game and went 4-3 on its season-long seven-game road swing. Memphis has lost three straight and eight of nine.

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Chris Boucher scored 17 points and matched his season high with three 3-pointers for the Raptors. Scottie Barnes finished with 16 points, including a pair of key baskets down the stretch.

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Desmond Bane led Memphis with 26 points, while Jackson had 18 points and four blocks. In addition to Morant, the Grizzlies were missing center Steven Adams (right knee) and forward Dillon Brooks, who served a league-assessed one-game suspension for his confrontation with Cleveland’s Donovan Mitchell on Thursday.

The Grizzlies led 81-66 with 4:44 left in the third quarter and had an 86-78 advantage entering the fourth.

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Precious Achiuwa got free for a baseline dunk with 2:32 left that gave the Raptors a 100-99 lead. From there, the teams traded baskets until Barnes hit a pair of shots, the latter with 20.1 seconds left for a 104-103 advantage.

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TIP-INS

Raptors: F O.G. Anunoby, whose name has been mentioned in trade rumours, missed his fifth straight game with a left wrist sprain. … Fred VanVleet handed out his 2,000th career assist in the first quarter. … Scottie Barnes had his 100th career block in the third quarter. … Gary Trent Jr. had 10 points, ending his streak at 11 straight games with at least 15 points.

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Grizzlies: Santi Aldama finished with 15 points. … Tyus Jones recorded his 500th career steal in the first quarter. … The loss prevented Memphis from sweeping the series with Toronto. It hasn’t won both games against the Raptors in the regular season since 2012-13.

MORANT FRIEND PUNISHED

Morant tweeted that a friend of his has been banned from games at FedExForum for a year. The punishment stems from a confrontation on Jan. 29, when the Grizzlies hosted Indiana. During the game, there was barking between Pacers players and friends of Morant seated along the sideline. The talking apparently continued into the players’ parking area after the game, leading to an investigation by the league. Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said he was aware of the league’s investigation and that the team addressed the matter internally. He did not elaborate further.

UP NEXT

Raptors: Host San Antonio on Wednesday night.

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Grizzlies: Host Chicago on Tuesday night.

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Tristian da Silva drops a game-high 25 points in Colorado's 84-62 victory over Stanford

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The Colorado Buffaloes defeated the Stanford Cardinal after Tristian da Silva dropped a game-high 25 points.



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Rob Lowe tells drivers to start their engines before Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum

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Rob Lowe gets the festivities started as the divers get their engines ready before competing in the Busch Light Clash at The Coliseum



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