Keuchel named AL Cy Young Award winner

Lefty is third Astros pitcher to take home honor, and first since move to AL

November 18th, 2015

HOUSTON -- Coming off a breakout 2014 season that certainly proved to be no fluke, Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel took his performance to another level in '15 and took home the American League Cy Young Award, presented by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, on Wednesday.

Keuchel finished with 22 first-place votes and 186 points, edging David Price (Tigers/Blue Jays), who had eight first-place votes and 143 points. The A's Sonny Gray (82 points) finished third.

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"It's something I never expected," Keuchel told MLB Network. "Just playing the game is good enough for me, and just to be in the same category as Sonny and David was special in its own right. There's a number of pitchers I look up to and it's something that hasn't sunk in, and I don't think it will for some time."

AL Cy Young Award Voting

Keuchel becomes just the third player in franchise history to win the Cy Young Award, joining Mike Scott (1986) and Roger Clemens (2004), who both won it in the National League. Keuchel earlier won the Players Choice Award for the AL Most Outstanding Pitcher, the Warren Spahn Award, which is given to the top left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, and his second consecutive Gold Glove Award.

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"I'm thrilled for him," manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's earned every bit of these awards that he's getting and none more so than the Cy Young. From the beginning of the season, with all the Pitchers of the Month Awards, to the All-Star Game and then throughout the whole year, he was exceptional in every way and as consistently dominant as any season I've ever seen."

Keuchel went 20-8 with three complete games and a 2.48 ERA in 33 starts last season. He led all AL pitchers in wins, rWAR (7.2), innings pitched (232), WHIP (1.017) and ground-ball-to-fly-ball ratio (3.68), ranked second in ERA and opponents' batting average (.217) and tied for third in complete games.

He was the starting pitcher for the AL in the All-Star Game and earned three AL Pitcher of the Month Awards (April, May and August).

"He's the definition of an ace," Hinch said.

Keuchel credited his parents for a lot of his success and the adjustments he's made, as well as pitching coach Brent Strom and bullpen coach Craig Bjornson.

"There's a lot of people I owe a lot of credit to for helping me out and getting me to the position I am right now. There's a lot of guys that loved baseball and they love helping individuals, and I owe them a lot of credit. There's a ton of people."

With shortstop Carlos Correa being named the AL Rookie of the Year on Monday, this marks the second time in franchise history that the Astros claimed two national BBWAA awards in the same season. It also happened in 1986, when Scott won the Cy Young Award and Hal Lanier won the Manager of the Year.

Keuchel, 27, was the Astros' first 20-game winner since 2005 and only the second lefty 20-game winner in franchise history (Mike Hampton, 1999). His 27 quality starts are the most by an Astros pitcher since Hampton had 27 in 1999.

At Minute Maid Park, Keuchel was untouchable in 2015, going 15-0 with a 1.46 ERA and 139 strikeouts. He's the first pitcher in modern Major League history to go 15-0 at home, extending his winning streak to 16 games at home since the end of 2014. His home ERA was the lowest by an AL pitcher in the Majors since Nolan Ryan had a 1.07 mark for the Angels in 1972.

Keuchel had pitched at least six innings in 40 consecutive games before lasting 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Rangers on Sept. 16 in Arlington. That's the longest such streak in the Majors since Justin Verlander (2010-12). He rebounded to win his 20th game in his final start of the regular season, on Oct. 2 against the D-backs at Chase Field.