Tag Archives: John Denny

NL’s Cy Young Award has gone to a Phillies hurler seven times

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Denny won the 1983 NL Cy Young Award for his performance with the Phillies that season


Major League Baseball continues the announcement of its 2019 awards on Wednesday evening. The top pitchers in both the National and American Leagues will be honored as the Cy Young Award winners are publicly revealed in a 6:00 pm EST broadcast on the MLB Network.

Those will be the more formally recognized awards as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America. However, a few hours earlier, the IBWAA (Internet Baseball Writers Association of America) will announce the winners of voting from their membership.

The 2019 American League Cy Young Award finalists are teammates Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander of the AL champion Houston Astros and former Phillies pitcher Charlie Morton of the Tampa Bay Rays. Verlander previously won the award back in 2011 and is a three-time runner-up for the honors.

In the National League, the finalists are last year’s winner Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets, Korean southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and three-time winner Max Scherzer of the world champion Washington Nationals. Both Ryu and Cole are free agents this off-season.

My choices are Cole and deGrom. Those are the two men who received my IBWAA vote.

MLB first began recognizing the best pitcher in baseball with this formal award with the 1956 season. For the first 11 years, just one winner for all of Major League Baseball was honored.

Due to an overwhelming outpouring of fan requests, a winner was honored from both the National and American Leagues beginning with the 1957 season.

In 1969, the American League vote ended in a tie between Denny McLain of the Detroit Tigers and Mike Cuellar of the Baltimore Orioles, and for the only time in the history of the award it was shared. Voting rules were changed as a result, with just one winner honored thereafter.

While the Cy is generally considered to be an honor for the top starting pitcher in the game, that is not a requirement. Mike Marshall of the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first reliever to take the honors in 1974, and eight other relievers have since won the award across the two leagues. The most recent was Eric Gagne of the Dodgers back in 2003.

Roger Clemens holds a record for having won the award seven times. A pair of former Phillies pitchers, Roy Halladay and Pedro Martinez, are among a group of a half-dozen hurlers to be honored with the Cy in both leagues at some point during their careers.

The late Baseball Hall of Famer and Phillies Wall of Famer Halladay is one of just four pitchers to take home a National League Cy Young Award while a member of the Fightin’ Phils pitching staff.

Halladay was the unanimous winner of the award after a historic 2010 season in which he threw a Perfect Game as well as just the second postseason no-hitter in MLB history. He registered an incredible 8.6 WAR value that year, winning 21 games and tossing 250.2 innings with nine complete games.

In 1983, right-hander John Denny captured the honors with the Phillies “Wheeze Kids” team that would go on to win the National League pennant. Denny received 20 of 24 first-place votes to finish as an easy winner.

That Cy followed a 19-win season during which he tossed 242.2 innings over 36 starts. Denny was also the NL’s Comeback Player of the Year in that first full season after coming to the Phillies from the Cleveland Indians in a September 1982 trade.

Four years later, the only Phillies relief pitcher to ever win the Cy took the honors in one of the closest votes ever. Steve Bedrosian saved 40 games for the team that year, exactly half of their total 1987 wins total. He worked 89 innings over 65 games, allowing 79 hits with 74 strikeouts and a 2.83 ERA.

“Bedrock” received just nine of 24 first-place votes, but came out the winner with 57 total voting points. That total edged out the 55 received by Rick Sutcliffe (four first-place) of the Chicago Cubs and 54 for Rick Reuschel (eight first-place), who split the season between the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants.

Halladay, Denny, Bedrosian. Those are three of the seven times that a Phillies pitcher has taken the NL honors. As I said earlier, four pitchers have won the award while with the club. Which means that the fourth hurler would put four Cy Young Awards into his trophy case.

That hurler was, of course, lefty Steve Carlton. The greatest pitcher in Phillies franchise history, Carlton won the Cy for his performances on the mound in the 1972, 1977, 1980, and 1982 campaigns.

That first win in 1972 was one of the most impressive pitching performances in Major League Baseball history. In his first season after arriving from the Saint Louis Cardinals in a spring training trade for Rick Wise, Carlton was the unanimous winner of what has been ranked as the ninth-greatest Cy Young season in history.

The man who became alternately known as “Lefty” or “Super Steve” won 27 games with a putrid Phillies team that would win just 59 games. He made 41 starts with 30 complete games, numbers that are unheard of in today’s game. Carlton allowed just 257 hits over 346.1 innings with 310 strikeouts, registering a 1.97 ERA and 0.993 WHIP.

In 1977, Carlton won 23 games while tossing 283 innings over 36 starts. He registered 17 complete games and struck out 198 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.124 WHIP. That performance allowed him to receive 17 of 26 first-place votes and finish comfortably ahead of runner-up Tommy John of the Dodgers.

For his performance during the Phillies first-ever World Series-winning campaign in 1980, Carlton became just the third pitcher to ever win three Cy’s, joining Sandy Koufax and Tom Seaver with that distinction.

That year, the lefty won 24 games, with 38 of his starts resulting in 13 complete games. He struck out 286 batters while allowing just 243 hits across 304 innings pitched. Carlton registered a 2.34 ERA and 1.095 WHIP, and received 23 of the 24 first-place votes as the runaway winner.

Two years later, Carlton became the first pitcher to ever win four career Cy Young Awards, and did so again in runaway fashion, receiving 20 of 24 first-place votes.

That season, Carlton won 23 games while making 38 starts, half of those resulting in complete games. He struck out 286 over 295.2 innings with a 1.147 WHIP for a Phillies team that would battle his old Saint Louis club for the NL East crown down to the last two weeks of the season before falling three games short.

Carlton and Halladay went on to become both Baseball Hall of Famers and Phillies Wall of Famers. Carlton’s 84.1 career WAR mark is the fifth-best in baseball history among left-handed pitchers, while Halladay’s 65.4 mark leaves him among the top 50 hurlers in the history of the game.

Denny had a nice career, winning 123 games over 13 big-league seasons, 37 of those with the Phillies over parts of four years. Bedrosian registered 184 career saves and 76 wins in a 14-year career.

At this time last season, Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola was a finalist for the award after winning 17 games and allowing just 149 hits over 212.1 innings across 33 starts with 224 strikeouts.

Will Nola some day become the fifth Phillies pitcher to capture an NL Cy Young Award? Perhaps Zach Eflin will elevate his game to that level. Or maybe the club will be able to lure Cole or Ryu this winter in free agency and find one of them taking the honors in some future season.

One thing is certain, as the 2011 Phillies who won a franchise record 102 regular season games while featuring a “Four Aces” rotation of Halladay, Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, and Roy Oswalt showed, starting pitching is the name of the game in Major League Baseball.

The Phillies need to upgrade their starting pitching rotation by landing a pair of new, proven arms in the free agent market this winter. If they do, the club should finally once again become a serious challenger for a postseason berth in 2020. And perhaps they’ll also get a Cy Young winner in the bargain.




Phillies young ace Aaron Nola named as a Cy Young Award finalist

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Phillies young ace Aaron Nola named a Cy Young Award finalist for first time

Major League Baseball announced the finalists for its 2018 major awards today, and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola was named as one of the three finalists for the National League Cy Young Award.

The 25-year-old Nola enjoyed a breakout campaign for the Phillies this past season. Becoming the team’s ace, the young right-hander went 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA, 0.975 WHIP, 175 ERA+, and 3.01 FIP.
Nola allowed only 149 hits this year in 212.1 innings across 33 starts with a 224/58 K:BB ratio. His 10.5 WAR mark was the best by any pitcher in the game and the second-highest in all of baseball, just ahead of Mike Trout and just behind Mookie Betts.
The other finalists announced for the award were Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.
Scherzer went 18-7 with a 2.53 ERA, 0.911 WHIP, 168 ERA+, and 2.65 FIP. Over 33 starts the 34-year-old allowed 150 hits in 220.2 innings pitched with a 300/51 K:BB ratio and 8.8 WAR mark.
The right-hander already has three Cy Young Awards on his mantle at home. Scherzer won the American League Cy Young Award with Detroit in 2014 before taking home the honors for the National League in each of the last two seasons with Washington.
The 30-year-old deGrom went 10-9 with a 1.70 ERA, 0.912 WHIP, 216 ERA+, and a 1.98 FIP. He yielded 152 hits across 217 innings over 32 starts with a 269/46 K:BB ratio and 9.6 WAR mark.
A two-time NL All-Star, deGrom was the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year. The righty finished seventh in 2015 and eighth a year ago in previous NL Cy Young Award voting results.

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.@AaronNola027 finished this season 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 224 strikeouts over his 33 starts.

Thank you, Ace, for one heck of a 2018!

This was easily the Phillies finest performance from a starting pitcher since Cliff Lee put together his last great season in 2013. In fact, Vince Velasquez in 2015 and Jeremy Hellickson in both 2016 and 2017 are the only Phillies starting pitchers besides Nola to finish with a winning season since that time.

After the Phillies had defeated the Nationals back on August 23 with Nola out-dueling Scherzer by tossing eight shutout frames, manager Gabe Kapler threw his support behind his own hurler for the honors. Matt Breen at Philly.com quoted the skipper following that game:

“Nola in my opinion is the Cy Young this year. Of course, Nola is our guy. But I watch him every time out there and just the dependability, the consistency, the creativity, the numbers. The numbers speak for themselves.”

An examination of some of those key “numbers” at the end of the season, stats that the voters will surely use to make their final selection, you can see that Nola may not be favored or expected to actually win the award.
However, that the Phillies now have such a young, legitimate ace to front their staff is encouraging. It will now be management’s job to bring in or develop another big arm or two in order to further enhance the team’s ability to rise to contending status.
Four pitchers have won the NL Cy Young Award while wearing a Phillies uniform. Right-handers John Denny (1983), Steve Bedrosian (1987), and Roy Halladay (2010) all took home the honors. Lefty Steve Carlton (1972, 1977, 1980, 1982) won the award four times during his Hall of Fame career.
The winners of the 2018 Cy Young awards in both the National and American Leagues will be announced on November 14 at 6:00PM EST.

Originally published at Phillies Nation as “Aaron Nola named as a finalist for National League Cy Young Award

MLB 2016 Prediction: National League Cy Young Award

Our staff has just released our predictions for the winners of each division, as well as our postseason predictions, including the 2016 World Series winner. 
I released my own predictions for the Phillies in the coming season. Now we begin the process of releasing our predictions for some of MLB’s major award winners.
The Cy Young Award is given annually to the top pitchers in Major League Baseball. Instituted for the 1956 season, the award was originally given to just one pitcher as the best in all of baseball from 1956 through the 1966 season.
Beginning in 1967, MLB began to award one pitcher in each league. Roger Clemens won the award a record seven times during his career. 
Newly elected Baseball Hall of Famer Randy Johnson won the honors five times, including four in a row from 1999-2002. Greg Maddux also won four straight years, from 1992-95.
The only other 4x winner of the Cy Young Award was Phillies Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. Lefty took home the honors in the National League in 1972, 1977, 1980, and again in 1982.

There have been three other Phillies’ pitchers to win the award in franchise history. In 1983, John Denny led the NL with 19 wins and was 2nd in ERA and became the 2nd Phils’ pitcher honored.
In 1987, Phils’ closer Steve Bedrosian led the NL with what was then a club record 40 Saves, and edged out starting pitchers Rick Reuschel and Rick Sutcliffe in one of the closest votes ever. He is one of just nine relief pitchers to ever win the award.
It was another 23 years before another Phillies pitcher won the honors. Roy Halladay won the 2010 NL Cy Young Award as just the 13th pitcher to be selected in a unanimous vote, and the 5th to win the award in both leagues. 
This was following a season in which he led the league in wins (21), complete games (9), shutouts (4), and innings pitched (250.2) while also tossing a perfect game.
Our staff has installed Los Angeles Dodgers perennial Cy Young favorite Clayton Kershaw as the 2016 favorite, giving him half of our votes. 
The lefty already has three of the awards on his shelf, having won in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He finished second in the 2012 voting, and third a year ago.
Four other pitchers each received a single vote, and each should be considered a 2016 contender: Gerrit Cole of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets, Adam Wainwright of the Saint Louis Cardinals, and Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals.

Phillies Fall Classics VI: 1983 World Series Game One

The 1983 season was one of great change for a Philadelphia Phillies organization that had achieved tremendous success over the previous decade. 
The Phillies had won the 1980 World Series, four NL East division crowns, and earned a postseason berth in a 1981 campaign split by a work stoppage.
As longtime 1980 World Series-winning stars Mike Schmidt (33), Garry Maddox (32), Steve Carlton (38), Ron Reed (40), and Tug McGraw (38) aged, the team looked to both get younger and continue to contend against tough competition.
Among those already gone was slugger Greg Luzinski, sold to the Chicago White Sox in March of 1981. 
Long time shortstop Larry Bowa was traded to the Chicago Cubs in January of 1982 along with an infield prospect named Ryne Sandberg in exchange for shortstop Ivan DeJesus. 
A month later, Bake McBride was dealt away to the Cleveland Indians for reliever Sid Monge.
In December of 1982, popular 2nd baseman Manny Trillo was part of a five-player package sent to the Cleveland Indians for young outfielder Von Hayes
That same month, the club dealt a pair of good arms in Mike Krukow and Mark Davis as part of a package to the San Francisco Giants for veteran 2nd baseman Joe Morgan and reliever Al Holland.
Morgan was 39-years old, and was now reunited with his old Cincinnati buddy Pete Rose, now 42-years old and in his final season of a five-year contract with the Phillies. 
The ‘Big Red Machine’ Reunion would be completed when the Phillies signed Tony Perez as a free agent at the end of January 1983.
With the exception of the 24-year old Hayes, every Phillies positional starter was at least 30 years of age, as were three members of the season-opening starting pitching rotation, and the majority of the bullpen. 
The club was so long in the tooth that they were given the nickname the “Wheeze Kids”, a nod to the 1950 NL champs who had been so young that they had become the “Whiz Kids” in team lore.

While they did not have youth in common with that 1950 ball club, the 1983 Phillies had the most important thing in common with that team of 35 years earlier, they were winners. They overcame an 0-3 start to win 16 of the next 22 games, and take first place into mid-May. 
Playing in the franchise’ Centennial season, the early winning stretch included a victory on May 1st, the exact 100th anniversary of the franchise’ first game. 
In early June, lefty Steve Carlton passed Nolan Ryan to become the all-time MLB strikeout king.
The club began to struggle, and from May 11th through June 29th, they fell into a horrid 16-26 stretch that dropped the team into 3rd place. 
They battled back into a tie for the division lead, but following a 4th loss in 5 games on July 13th, manager Pat Corrales was fired.
It was a fairly unusual move, since the Phillies were in first place. However, just three games over the .500 mark, GM Paul Owens and ownership believed that a change was needed. Owens himself decided to don a uniform and take over as the field general.
The Phillies would lose his first two games and five of their first seven games with Owens as the skipper to fall below the .500 mark and down into 4th place. 
However, during a season in which no team wanted to take charge in the NL East race, the floundering Phils were still just two games out.
It appeared that all it would take to win the division would be for any of the teams to go on a hot streak. The Phillies would on two, sandwiched around another cold stretch. 
An 11-4 stretch in the first half of August pushed the Phils back into first place. The team then proceeded to lose 13 of 17 to drop back to 3rd place. Yet still, they were only a half-game off the pace.
That was when the veteran Phillies finally decided to take charge, take the NL East by the scruff of the neck, and win the darned thing. 
From September 6th through the end of the regular season, the club would finish on a torrid 21-5 roll. 
Still tied for the division lead as late as September 17th, the Phils won 14 of their last 16 to finish with a six game cushion.
At Wrigley Field on Wednesday, September 27th, the Phillies clinched the National League East crown with a big 13-6 win. 
The losing pitcher that day for the Chicago Cubs was Dick Ruthven, one of the 1980 World Series heroes who had begun this ’83 season still in the Phillies rotation, but who was dealt to the Cubbies in late May for reliever Willie Hernandez.
In the NLCS, the Phillies would face a familiar foe in the Los Angeles Dodgers. In wiping away the ghosts of the ’77 and ’78 losses, this Phillies team would win the series 3 games to 1, blitzing LA by identical 7-2 scores in the 3rd and 4th games.
That sent the Phils into the World Series to face the American League champion Baltimore Orioles. The O’s had pulled away in the AL East during the month of September, winning 98 games and taking the division by six. 
In the ALCS, Baltimore lost the opener to the Chicago White Sox, but stormed back to win the next three straight, two by shutout.
That was the setup for Game One of the 1980 World Series, which would take place at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. 
The Orioles manager Joe Altobelli was in his first season succeeding future Hall of Famer Earl Weaver, and selected 29-year old righty Scott McGregor for the start in the opener. McGregor had gone 18-7 and thrown 260 strong innings during a season in which he would finish 6th in AL Cy Young voting.
For the Phillies, Owens would send out 30-year old righty John Denny, who had come to the Phils from Cleveland in September of 1982 in exchange for three prospects, none of whom would ever really pan out. 
Denny had by far the best of his 13 career MLB seasons with the Phillies in 1983, going 19-6 with a 2.37 ERA over 242.2 innings for which he would win the National League Cy Young Award.
Denny was outstanding for the Phillies in that Game One. He would throw 109 pitches, 73 for strikes, over 7.2 innings in which he would allow just four hits and one run. 
That lone Orioles run scored on the 7th pitch that he threw, when the 2nd batter in the Orioles’ order, right fielder Jim Dwyer, ripped a solo home run deep into the right field stands.
That 1-0 Orioles lead held into the top of the 6th, when the Phillies finally got to McGregor with a long ball of their own. With two outs and on a 1-2-pitch, Morgan blasted his own solo shot to deep right, tying the score at 1-1.
The game continued as a match between McGregor and Denny into the 8th, and there in the top of the 8th came the game’s decisive blow. 
Maddox, a 12-year veteran and notorious first-pitch swinger who was not known as a big home run threat, took a first-pitch fastball and rifled it out to deep left field for another solo homer, pushing the Phillies on top 2-1.
When Denny allowed a two-out double to Al Bumbry, Owens finally turned to his bullpen, and called in Holland, who retired Dan Ford on a fly ball to left to end that threat.
In the bottom of the 9th, Holland would have to face the Orioles’ 3-4-5 hitters with the Phillies clinging to that 2-1 lead. 
First up was a 2nd year shortstop by the name of Cal Ripken Jr. The 1982 AL Rookie of the Year, Ripken had quickly become one of the best players in baseball.
In that 1983 campaign, Ripken had hit for a .318/.371/.517 slash line with 27 homers and 102 RBI. He led the Al in runs (121), doubles (47) and hits (211), and would be named the American League Most Valuable Player. 
On an 0-2 pitch, Holland got Ripken to pop into foul territory behind 3rd base, and DeJesus camped under it for the first out.
Next up was the Orioles cleanup hitter and, like Ripken, a future Baseball Hall of Famer. 
1st baseman Eddie Murray was a 27-year old, 7-year veteran who hit for a .306/.393/.538 slash line with 33 homers, 111 RBI, and 115 runs scored in 1983. On a 2-2 pitch, Holland struck him out swinging. Two major threats to the one-run lead down.
The Orioles last hope would be pinch-hitter Gary Roenicke. With Holland a left-hander and lefty John Lowenstein due up, Altobelli made the move to the dangerous Roenicke, who had banged 19 homers in just 366 plate appearances as a platoon outfielder. 
On a 3-2 pitch, Roenicke drove a ball deep to left field. But Gary Matthews went back to the wall and camped under it, cradling the final out of a Phillies win.
The Phillies had a 1-0 lead in the 1983 World Series, with 3 of the next 4 games scheduled to be played in front of their home fans at Veteran’s Stadium. 
Unfortunately, this one wouldn’t go their way. The ‘Wheeze Kids’ would finally run out of gas, with the Orioles sweeping the next four straight.
In all, the Phils would score just nine total runs over the five games of the 1983 World Series. A pair of future Hall of Famers, Carlton for the Phils, Jim Palmer for the Orioles, would get the decisions in Game Three at The Vet. 
McGregor would bounce back to shutout the Phillies in the decisive Game Five in Philly just five days after this opener.
The series MVP was Baltimore catcher Rick Dempsey, who hit .385 with a homer and four doubles, and who played flawless defense and was a zen master to the O’s pitching staff. 
It would be 14 years before the Orioles would return to the postseason, while the Phillies would not return for a decade. When this Phillies Fall Classics series continues, it will be with that magical 1993 team as the surprising stars.