Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman isn’t a Cy Young candidate, MLB poll says, so he dominated the Houston Astros

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
10 months ago
There’s Kevin Gausman slander online today and I’m not here for it.
And neither is he.
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, MLB.com pollsters got together and yelled into the ether of the internet that Gausman isn’t a top-five candidate for the AL’s Cy Young award.
Gausman evidently heard them and went out Tuesday night and dropped a dominant performance against the Houston Astros as the Jays won 5-1.
Despite allowing a lead-off home run to Maurico Dubón, Gausman tightened things up real quick going 7.0 IP allowing just four walks, the one earned run, while dropping a staggering 13 strikeouts — a number that ties his career-high. The only other time he fanned 13 batters in a game was not too long ago, either. On April 29th, Gausman had another seven-inning performance allowing no earned runs and six hits.
Make no mistake about it, Gausman’s performance tonight was nothing short of incredible. Astros hitters, among some of the best in the league, looked lost in the box and that’s because of Gausman’s ability to pick them apart and catch them swinging.
Jeremy Peña, most notably, was helpless striking out in each of his four at-bats. Yordan Alvarez struck out in two of his three at-bats. Alex Bregman? Also helpless fanning in all three of his at-bats.
No matter how you cut it, Gausman belongs firmly entrenched near the five pitchers that MLB.com listed as the best candidates for the AL Cy Young: Shane McClanahan, Nathan Eovaldi, Gerrit Cole, Framber Valdez, and Sonny Gray. Gausman, meanwhile, was listed under “others receiving votes” and was noted as having three-first place votes — one more than Gray.
Some of the names on the list are fair and all of the players’ numbers heading into Tuesday’s games have been solid. McClanahan had 29 first-place votes, far and away the most, and he’s boasting an impressive 9-1 record, 2.02 ERA and a 3.51 FIP in 75.2 IP. Eovaldi’s having a good year with ace Jacob DeGrom out of action. Over his 12 starts that has seen him throw 80.1 IP, he has a 8-2 record, 2.24 ERA and 2.45 FIP. He might me even more important with DeGrom now getting Tommy John surgery.
Cole, meanwhile, is a name Jays fans know all too well and carries a 7-0 record, 2.82 ERA and 3.65 ERA across 79.2 IP. Framber Valdez has gone 6-4 across 79.0 IP in 12 starts with a 2.16 ERA and 2.87 FIP. Lastly, Gray’s name has popped up on the list despite having the least innings amount this group: 67.0. He carries a 2.15 ERA and 2.43 FIP.
So where does Gausman rank in all of this, and why wasn’t he included on the list? Well, his 4-3 record is the worst of this group and his still-stellar 2.76 ERA is second worst among them. His 2.38 FIP, however, shines above the rest as does his staggering 12.0 K/9 — a 1.7 K/9 more than the second-place McClanahan.
While all five pitchers on the list have gotten tons of run support per game — the highest being Eovaldi with 6.8 and Gray the least with 3.9 — Gausman comes in with just 2.9 RS/IP. That’s evidently affected Gausman’s ability to rack up wins, despite having some of the best numbers of this entire group.
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America, who votes on the annual award for the top pitcher from each league, should be watching closely as to what Gausman’s done this season. Because after tonight’s performance, Gausman now leads the entire big leagues in both innings (82) and in strikeouts (113, tied with Spencer Strider).
The Kevin Gausman Cy Young Hype Train has left the station.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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