By Ben Sullivan
The Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the 2019 National League Cy Young Award finalists, and included were Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, New York Mets righty Jacob deGrom and Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
Scherzer missed time due to injury but still produced a strong season at 11-7 with a 2.92 ERA and 243 strikeouts over 172.1 innings pitched.
Ryu being named a finalist does not come as much of a surprise after his strong 2019 season. In 29 starts, he went 14-5 with a Major-League-leading 2.32 ERA to go along with a 3.10 FIP and 1.01 WHIP with 163 strikeouts and 24 walks in 182.2 innings.
If it were not for a few rough starts towards the end of the season, Ryu likely would have run away with the Cy Young Award. Through his first 22 starts, the 32-year-old had a 1.45 ERA and an impressive 121 strikeouts and 17 walks in 142.2 innings.
deGrom is the reigning Cy Young winner and may be the favorite to win it again in 2019. After finishing the season strong, even Ryu conceded that he would pick deGrom if he had a vote.
In 32 starts, deGrom only had an 11-8 record, but he posted a 2.43 ERA, 2.67 FIP and 0.97 WHIP. He led the NL in strikeouts with 255 compared to just 44 walks in 204 total innings and allowed just one earned run in 28 innings across his final four starts to close out the season.
Ryu and deGrom were the obvious choices to be finalists for the NL Cy Young, whereas the third spot was a bit of a toss up.
He earned the nod over the likes of teammate Stephen Strasburg, Jack Flaherty, Walker Buehler, Clayton Kershaw, and Mike Soroka who was named a Rookie of the Year finalist.
If Ryu is able to win the award, he will be the ninth Dodger to do so and first since Kershaw in 2014. Ryu is a free agent this winter, so being a finalist for big awards like this one should help him get the long-term, lucrative contract he deserves.
The winner of the NL Cy Young Award will be announced Wednesday, Nov. 13.