The Chicago Cubs’ dominance of the awards season continued on Wednesday with Jake Arrieta finishing ahead of Zack Greinke (second place) and Clayton Kershaw (third place) in voting for the 2015 National League Cy Young Award.
While the result isn’t necessarily viewed on the same level as R.A. Dickey taking the award over Kershaw in 2012, there was some surprise Greinke didn’t come away with the Cy Young.
Arrieta finished with 17 first-place votes to Greinke’s 10 and Kershaw’s three. Overall, the final vote had Arrieta defeating Greinke by a slim 22 points.
In an interview with SportsNet LA’s John Hartung, Los Angeles Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt while complimentary of Arrieta, explained why the Cy Young result surprise him:
“I was a little bit shocked, I knew it was going to be close. Everybody kept pushing Jake with the finish, but nobody ever mentioned Zack was 11-1 and Kersh was 10-1 after the break. They were all dominant; just unbelievable seasons by three guys. I’m bias toward my guys. I think from day one until the end of the season, Zack was most consistent out of all of them. Obviously Kersh finished his usual self and was super dominant, and Arrieta was, too. You can’t rule out the entire season. … I was surprised Zack got three third-place votes.”
This year’s Cy Young race was one of the more intriguing votes in recent memory. Arrieta had the historic second half, Greinke led the Majors in ERA (1.66), ERA+ (225) and WHIP (0.84), while Kershaw had the first 300-strikeout season since 2002 and dominated numerous sabermetric statistics.
Ultimately, Arrieta’s 0.75 ERA after the All-Star break, which was the lowest since 1933, and his 11-0 stretch with 89 strikeouts in 88.1 innings pitched over his final 12 starts of the season was too much to overcome for the pair of 2015 Dodgers teammates.