Zack Wheeler finishes 2nd in NL Cy Young voting, falls to Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers
Zack Wheeler threw the best season of his career in 2021, but he came up just short (literally, just short) in the final voting. As a result, Corbin Burnes of the Milwaukee Brewers took home his first Cy Young, becoming the 3rd Brewer in franchise history to take home the honor.
Announced first tonight, Robbie Ray took home the AL Cy Young award over Gerrit Cole and Lance Lynn, tallying 29 out of 30 first-place votes as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. The NL was next, and man, was this an elite group of finalists. Corbin Burnes barely edged out Zack Wheeler, beating him by just 10 points.
Burnes and Wheeler tied for 1st place votes with 12, only the second time in the history of this voting process that 1st and 2nd place tied for the same amount of 1st place votes. But Burnes had the edge in 2nd and 3rd place votes, tallying for more total points. Here’s the full breakdown:
Zack Wheeler finished his dominant season with a 14-10 record, pitching a 2.78 ERA in 213.1 innings pitched, which was a career-high. Wheeler struck out 247 batters on the season, tallying a 1.01 WHIP and a 10.4 SO/9 ratio. Zack Wheeler was the backbone of the Phillies pitching staff this season, cementing himself as the true ace after a down year from Aaron Nola.
Corbin Burnes’s season was a special one. He finished with an 11-5 record, throwing a 2.43 ERA. Burnes tallied 234 strikeouts in 167 innings pitched, with a WHIP of 0.94.
Wheeler led the National League in innings pitched and strikeouts, showing his ability to dig deep and grind late into games. His four-pitch arsenal was on point all season, with his fastball blowing by players left and right. It seemed like every time you needed a big game; Zack Wheeler came through on an elite level.
Corbin Burnes, Max Scherzer, and Zack Wheeler all joined the MLB Network crew tonight to hear the announcement. Before it was announced, Zack Wheeler talked about how he has his elite stamina and how he’s trained to go deep into games.
“It all starts in the offseason, building up the stamina. Growing up watching great pitchers was an honor. If you want to go out and be the best, you have to go deep into games.”
Although Zack Wheeler did not take home the award tonight, he still pitched one of the most dominant seasons over the last decade by a Phillies pitcher. The NL MVP will be announced tomorrow night, with Bryce Harper sitting as the current favorite. Unfortunately, our “MLB Foreshadowing” theory did not go as planned tonight in both leagues, so take that as you will, with Mike Schmidt announcing tomorrow’s NL MVP winner. Damn, it really was so close.
Ring it. Go Phils.
Mandatory Credit: Getty Images