The finalists dropped today for the Cy Young Awards, recognizing the most outstanding pitchers in each league. To the surprise of precisely no one, Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is on the short list in the junior circuit.
Despite injury and an inconsistent second-half, Cole put together a masterful season for the Yankees. When the dust settled on the 2021 campaign, Cole led the American League in wins (16), complete games (2), and strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.93). Furthermore, he struck out 33.5 percent of all batters he faced, finished the season with a 3.23 ERA (2.92 FIP), and was a 5+ WAR pitcher by both Baseball Reference (5.7) and FanGraphs (5.3).
Cole’s main competition in what is almost certainly a two-man race is resurgent Toronto Blue Jay Robbie Ray, although Lance Lynn of the Chicago White Sox also made the cut. Ray led the majors with 248 strikeouts, and accrued a great deal of black ink, topping the American League in ERA, games started, innings pitched, and WHIP.
Go Gerrit, Go. But even if he loses out on the 2021 Cy Young, we’ll always have the night he shoved against the Astros in his first appearance back in Houston. A game for the ages.