D-backs RHP Zac Gallen finishes No. 5 in Cy Young Award race

Nov 16, 2022, 5:41 PM | Updated: 5:50 pm

Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the second innin...

Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the second inning of a game at Coors Field on August 13, 2022 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen received his first career top-five finish in the National League Cy Young Award race on Wednesday.

Gallen finished No. 5 in the voting behind unanimous winner Sandy Alcantara, runner-up Max Fried, Julio Urias and Aaron Nola.

The 27-year-old picked up 45 points with a trio of second-place votes and five third-place votes by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Nola edged him out for No. 4 with 48 points.

Gallen has two top-10 finishes in the past three seasons after he came in No. 9 in 2020.

The D-backs righty led the National League in WHIP this season at 0.91 and finished seventh in ERA among starters with a 2.54 clip.

Gallen opened the year on a stellar stretch after missing his first start with a cut on his thumb. Through six starts and 39.1 innings, he surrendered five runs with 39 punch outs to eight walks.

He picked up early Cy Young Award buzz, with D-backs pitching coach Brent Strom saying Gallen was as good as any pitchers he’d ever worked with.

After struggling with the long ball in June, Gallen found more of his early-season dominance with a 2.00 ERA from July-on.

His August was especially eye-opening, as he allowed three earned runs in 40 innings with 44 punch outs.

The D-backs went 5-1 in his starts and won NL Pitcher of the Month.

Gallen thrived in 2022 at keeping hits and home runs to a minimum with 5.9 and 0.7 allowed per nine innings, respectively.

His curveball was nearly untouchable with a 33.7% whiff rate, according to Baseball Savant. The pitch finished off 56 of his career-best 192 strikeouts.

The starter’s efforts did not go unnoticed by his peers, as Gallen was a finalist for the Players Choice award for NL Outstanding Pitcher. Alcantara won that prize, as well.

The last D-backs pitcher to finish in the top five of the Cy Young voting was Patrick Corbin in 2018, who also landed No. 5.

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