ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays left-hander Blake Snell and manager Kevin Cash are finalists for the Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards. The finalists were revealed on MLB Network on Monday night.Snell, 25, went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA to lead the American League outright in wins and ERA."I made a
ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays left-hander Blake Snell and manager Kevin Cash are finalists for the Baseball Writers' Association of America Awards. The finalists were revealed on MLB Network on Monday night.
Snell, 25, went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA to lead the American League outright in wins and ERA.
"I made a very good case," Snell said. "You know, pitching to the AL East is not easy. Who I had to face, and all of that. I was confident I was going to be in it."
The last 10 pitchers to lead the AL in both ERA and victories (outright and shared) have all won the Cy Young Award. And since the Cy Young Award was presented to both leagues in 1967, 13 of the 14 pitchers to lead the AL in wins and ERA won the Cy Young Award, with the exception of Baltimore's Mike Boddicker in 1984, when Tigers closer Willie Hernandez won the AL honor.
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In the live ball era (1920), only three pitchers age 25 or younger have achieved Snell's combination of 21 wins and a 1.89 ERA -- Dwight Gooden (1985), Vida Blue (1971), and Hal Newhouser (1945).
Snell won nine consecutive starts from Aug. 10 to Sept. 23, the only pitcher to do so in 2018. Over that stretch, he went 9-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 74 strikeouts. According to Stats LLC, the only other pitchers in Major League history to match or exceed those numbers over a nine-start span are Johan Santana (2004) and Bob Gibson (1968) -- both unanimous Cy Young Award winners.
Houston's Justin Verlander and Cleveland's Corey Kluber are the other pitchers nominated for the AL Cy Young Award. The results of the vote will be announced on Nov. 14.
"I mean, to be in the running with both of them is a lot of fun to see and to talk about with my family, for sure," Snell said.
Cash, 40, led the Rays to a 90-72 record for the sixth-best mark in the AL and the club's best mark since its last postseason appearance in 2013. He has been recognized for his ability to connect with the team's mostly young core while also employing novel tactics that worked to success, such as the team's use of an opener for the bulk of the season. The Rays had the Majors' best record (36-19) over the final two months of the regular season.
Cash and the Rays remained competitive throughout 2018 on a largely limited roster. The club was an aggressive seller over the past calendar year, dealing away stalwarts, including third baseman Evan Longoria, starting pitchers Chris Archer and Nathan Eovaldi, All-Star catcher Wilson Ramos and closer Alex Colome among others.
Oakland's Bob Melvin and Boston's Alex Cora are the other two nominees for the AL Manager of the Year Award, which will be announced on Nov. 13.
Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.