Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello won the Cy Young Awards in their respective leagues on Wednesday night. Scherzer is the sixth pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues (won AL Cy Young in 2013). Porcello is the seventh Red Sox pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, most by any AL team.
Scherzer led all qualified National League pitchers in wins, strikeouts, WHIP, strikeout-to-walk rate, and WAR, while Porcello led the American League in wins and strikeout-to-walk rate.
What made Max Scherzer great?
Even with a 20-strikeout start, Scherzer had a 4.05 ERA at the end of May. He posted a 2.44 ERA in his last 23 starts. The keys for Scherzer were cutting his walks (from 2.7 per 9 innings to 2.0) and home runs allowed (from 1.8 per 9 innings to 0.9).
Porcello got off to a fast start in 2016, winning each of his first 5 starts with a 2.76 ERA in the process. That 5th win came against the Yankees, with Porcello going 7 scoreless for the decision.
Complete games: July 29 at Angels; September 19 at Orioles
After not throwing a complete game since 2014 with the Tigers, Porcello threw 3 in 2016 (one in a loss). In the two wins, he gave up 2 runs in each, not walking a batter in either game. The July 29 complete game was Porcello’s 8th straight decision won. He was the first Red Sox starter to win 14 of his first 16 decisions since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2008.
22nd win of season: September 24 at Rays
In his second-to-last start of the season, Porcello C.J. Mosley Authentic Womens Jersey capped it off with his 22nd victory, which would be his final of the 2016 campaign. The last Red Sox pitcher to win 22 games in a season was Pedro Martínez in 1999. He won the Cy Young award that year for his efforts.
Scherzer had a variety of ways with which he could get hitters out. He had the seventh-highest miss rate with his fastball in the majors, the fourth highest among NL pitchers with at least 15 starts (24 percent). Opponents hit .199 against it, a mark bettered only by Clayton Kershaw (.184), Jake Arrieta (.194) and Rich Hill (.195).
Scherzer’s other signature pitch was his Calvin Johnson Authentic Womens Jersey slider. Hitters missed that at a 49 percent rate, second-best in the NL (José Fernandez, 50 percent). Through the end of May, opponents hit .192 with a .370 slugging percentage against the pitch. The rest of the season, they hit .123, with a .240 slugging percentage.