Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen finishes No. 3 in NL Cy Young race, Blake Snell wins
Nov 15, 2023, 4:50 PM | Updated: 9:41 pm
(AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)
Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen finished third in the National League Cy Young voting which dropped on Wednesday.
San Diego Padres starter and ERA-leader Blake Snell (2.25) won the hardware with San Francisco Giants right-hander Logan Webb coming in second place. Diamondbacks veteran Merrill Kelly did not receive a vote after starting 30 games with a 3.29 ERA.
Gallen received one first-place vote, three seconds and 11 thirds, while Snell tabbed 28 0f 30 first-place votes.
Voting breakdown for the NL Cy Young Award pic.twitter.com/YSwekcrpYt
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 15, 2023
Third is the highest finish in Gallen’s career for the Cy Young after a fifth-place result in 2022 and ninth place in 2020.
Gallen ranked No. 3 in fWAR among qualified NL pitchers (5.2), No. 5 in FIP (3.26), No. 7 in ERA (3.47), No. 2 in innings (210) and No. 3 in strikeouts (220).
The 28-year-old eclipsed a career-high in frames pitched, totaling 243.1 including Arizona’s postseason run.
Gallen also made his first career All-Star Game appearance in 2023, starting for the NL after producing a 3.04 ERA entering the break. He became an early Cy Young contender with 28 straight scoreless innings in April and May.
The Diamondbacks played high-leverage games throughout the second half of the year, and while Gallen’s post All-Star break ERA was 4.03, he produced some gems down the stretch. Gallen’s first career complete-game shutout came on Sept. 8 at Wrigley Field against a Chicago Cubs team the D-backs were chasing and caught in the wild card standings.
Gallen finished the season with 12.1 innings and two earned runs over his final two starts entering October with Arizona jostling for playoff positioning.
The right-hander also endured an inconsistent postseason from a results standpoint (4.54 ERA), but he finished the year with a brilliant outing in a do-or-die Game 5 of the World Series against the Texas Rangers. He threw six no-hit innings and finished with six frames, one earned run and six punch outs, although, playoff performance was not a consideration in the award.
“I’m a little extra motivated this year to get back in the lab,” Gallen said after the World Series. “Just how close we got, just didn’t have the second half I really wanted to, just a lot of things really but failure gives you the most motivation I think of anything.”
Gallen was the only finalist whose team reached the postseason.
Zac Gallen, Fastball/Knuckle Curve Overlay pic.twitter.com/nHoIOmPAHl
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 28, 2023
Snell had an eye-opening 1.23 ERA in 21 starts after June 1 for the Padres. He finished the year with nine straight quality starts.
The veteran lefty also led the way in opposing batting average at .180, although he walked a MLB-high 99 batters. He won the American League Cy Young for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2019 and is the seventh pitcher to win the award in both leagues. Former Diamondbacks Randy Johnson and Max Scherzer both accomplished this feat.
Snell entered the offseason a free agent at 30 years old after spending the last three seasons in San Diego.
Webb led MLB in innings at 216 with a 3.25 ERA. The 26-year-old finished No. 11 in the voting last year.
The Diamondbacks have not had a Cy Young winner since Brandon Webb in 2006.