New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom was voted winner of the 2018 National League Cy Young Award, receiving 29 of 30 possible first-place votes. deGrom’s 207 overall points placed him well ahead of second-place finishes Washington Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer (123 points).
The Philadelphia Phillies’ Aaron Nola (86), Colorado Rockies southpaw Kyle Freeland (49) and Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Patrick Corbin (23) rounded out the top five. That snapped Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw’s streak of top-five finishes in NL Cy Young Award voting at seven years.
The stretch tied an all-time record that was initially set by Hall-of-Famer Mike Maddux. During his seven-year run, Kershaw won the Cy Young in 2011, 2013 and 2014; finished in second place in 2012; placed third in 2015; fifth in 2017; and now this year was not among the nine pitchers who received at least one vote.
Kershaw’s 2018 campaign was another in which injury forced him to the disabled list. He battled left biceps tendinitis and a lower back strain, which limited him to 26 starts. The injuries are also believed to have played a role in Kershaw pitching with diminished velocity.
He went 9-5 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.04 WHIP that was Kershaw’s highest mark since 2012. This season also marked the first since the end of 2008 in which Kershaw did not lower his career ERA, as it increased ever so slightly from 2.36 at the conclusion of 2017 to 2.39 present day.
The down season by his standards may have influenced Kershaw into bypassing free agency in favor of signing a three-year, $93 million contract extension with the Dodgers. No matter the reasoning, he’s focused on silencing critics and avoiding the disabled list in seasons ahead.