For the first time since 1982, a member of the Milwaukee Brewers is a Cy Young Award winner.
Brewers starter Corbin Burnes earns the honor garnering 12 first-place votes and 151 total points in the BBWAA system. Philadelphia Phillies starter Zack Wheeler finishes second in the voting. Wheeler also earns 12 first-place votes, but 141 total points. Max Scherzer finishes third. Scherzer started the season with the Washington Nationals and was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July.
“I figured from the end of the season until now that it was going to be a close vote,” Burnes explained on a conference call following the honor. “Everyone – their Cy Young case was different just based upon the season they had…no surprise that it was a close one. I want to congratulate both Max and Zack on the seasons they had as well.”
Burnes finished the season 11-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 28 starts for the National League Central Division champions. Among his season accomplishments, Burnes ended the season as the league-leader in ERA, strikeout rate and strikeout to walk ratio.
On May 13th, Burnes issued his first walk of the season. Prior to the free pass, Burnes logged 58 strikeouts – the most in major league history. On September 11th, Burnes and National League reliever of the year, Josh Hader combined to no-hit the Cleveland Indians.
For Burnes, it’s a remarkable turnaround for a player who in 2019 posted an ERA of 8.82.
“Everyone has their story of how they got to the big leagues and the adversity,” Burnes continued. “That’s just going to be a part of the story that I have. A first-time starter, getting knocked around, then coming back and figuring it out. It’s a testament to the Brewers kind of sticking with me and providing all the resources I needed to turn things around.”
Fellow Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff finished fifth in the voting and Hader’s reliever of the year honor is his third in four seasons. Brewers reliever Devin Williams claimed reliever of the year honors in 2019.
“We’ve had a lot of great pitching the last three or four years in Milwaukee, and I don’t expect that to be any different for the next couple years going forward,” Burnes concluded.
Burnes joins Rollie Fingers (1981) and Pete Vuckovic (1982) as the only members of the Brewers to win the yearly honor. Fingers and Vuckovic earned the honor pitching in the American League.