Phillies ace Aaron Nola finishes fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting.
The right-hander received five second-place votes and six third-place votes. Nola finished behind Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara, who won the award. Claiming second and third place were left-handers Max Fried and Julio Urías, respectively of the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.
While it is nice to see Nola finish near the top of the Cy Young voting, it can be argued that he should have finished a bit higher. Alcántara should have won and that was unanimously decided. However, looking into deeper stats and not just ERA, Nola outpitched Fried and Urías in certain categories.
Nola was one of just five National League pitchers to throw more than 200 innings. Alcántara was the only starter who threw more than him. Nola also had a higher K/9 rate than both Fried and Urías — striking out almost two more batters per nine innings than both left-handers. Another impressive stat is that Nola’s BB/9 rate led the National League. He finished the season with a 1.27 BB/9, topping Fried’s 1.55 BB/9 rate and Urías’ 2.11 BB/9.
In the grand scheme of things, it did not really matter if Nola finished second, third, or fourth in Cy Young voting. The fact that he finished in the top five is impressive. Nola often draws criticism, but it is hard to argue that he is an effective pitcher. And while he may not have pitched well in the World Series, he did come up big in the postseason-clinching game in Houston. He also pitched well in the Wild Card Series and NLDS to help the Phillies advance to the World Series.
The Phillies picked up Nola’s option for the 2023 season and may look to sign him to a longer deal sooner than later. It would be in the Phillies’ best interest to do so.
Nola has been a solid pitcher in Major League Baseball. He may not be a No. 1 pitcher on a great starting staff, but he has shown the ability to strike batters out and limit walks — both key in big-game situations.