M-SABR editor Sahil Shah presents his (probably satirical) argument for why Yovani Gallardo deserves to win a Cy Young award more than Jacob deGrom.
A lot of people have been talking lately about how Jacob deGrom is a serious contender for the Cy Young award. At the same time, I haven’t heard any love for Yovani Gallardo. That’s blasphemous. Yovani Gallardo clearly deserves to win a Cy Young award this year, and Jacob DeGrom does not at all. He shouldn’t even come close. No, I’m not crazy. Here’s why.
1. Gallardo has a better W-L record than deGrom
You know what matters in baseball? Winning games. If you’re not winning games, nothing else matters.
deGrom has started 22 games this season for the New York Mets. He has a 1.85 ERA and 0.97 WHIP, which is alright I guess. But how many wins does he have during that time? Only 5. That’s not even a quarter of his games! You can’t be elite and win only 5 starts by the beginning of August. To make matters even worse, he has lost 7 games on the season. So, not only has he barely won any games, he keeps racking up losses left and right. Sure, people say it’s the Mets fault for averaging 2.72 runs during his starts (a total of 60 runs in 22 games), but that’s no excuse. If you are an elite pitcher, you should be racking up W’s no matter what. I don’t care if the Mets don’t score a single run for deGrom, he should find a way to win.
Gallardo, on the other hand, has won 6 games on the season in only 8 starts (11 appearances). One more than deGrom! He has a win in 75% of his starts for the Texas Rangers. That is amazing. And he has managed to do that while only losing one single game. That’s nothing. Who cares that he has only given up 3 fewer runs than deGrom in 99.2 fewer innings? Or that the Rangers have averaged 10.12 runs during his starts (a total of 81 runs in 8 games)? Gallardo and his 6.51 ERA and 1.62 WHIP are simply more impressive and more elite than Jacob deGrom.
2. Gallardo has won more games despite being in the tougher league
Not only does Jacob deGrom have a worse W-L record than Gallardo, but he has done it while facing easier lineups. He basically gets to take a break every nine batters while facing the opposing team’s pitcher. All he has to do is toss the ball to home plate with minimal effort and he’s basically guaranteed a three-pitch strikeout. That’s not elite, that’s taking the easy way out.
Yovani Gallardo, however, deliberately chose to take the harder path by signing with the Texas Rangers even though he would have to face the designated hitter instead of the pitcher. He doesn’t get to take a mid-game break. Instead, he has to face the likes of Victor Martinez, Kendrys Morales, Ryon Healy, Logan Morrison, and Chris Davis. I don’t care if none of them have an OBP above .300, they are still massive threats at the plate. Heck, Chris Davis led the league in home runs in 2013 with 53. If I was an AL pitcher, I would be absolutely terrified to face him. Yet, Gallardo puts on a brave face and still goes out and wins the overwhelming majority of his games. If that’s not deserving of the Cy Young Award, I don’t know what it is.
3. Gallardo’s Rangers have a better record than deGrom’s Mets
If you don’t play for an elite team, you might as well automatically be ruled out of the Cy Young race. Jacob deGrom’s Mets fall perfectly into that category. They have the fewest wins in the NL East with 46. The Miami Marlins traded away half of their team in the offseason, started Jose Urena on Opening Day, and proudly opened the season with the likes of Odriasmer Despaigne and Jacob Turner on their roster, yet even they have more wins than the lowly New York Mets. You can’t expect to be a Cy Young award winner on a team like that.
Yovani Gallardo’s Rangers, on the other hand, are playing some very respectable baseball. Despite being in a division with three teams with better records than any team in the NL East (the Astros, Athletics, and Mariners), they have still managed to post a respectable 49 wins, four more than the Mets. That’s a significant number. Not only that, but the Rangers have posted a 21-20 record since Gallardo joined the team on June 17th. That’s a winning record, folks. Clearly, he has reinvigorated the Rangers and will return them to their winning ways. Who needs Yu Darvish and Cole Hamels when you can have Yovani Gallardo and his winning ways?
4. Gallardo has been better than deGrom all year with less stability
Jacob deGrom has it easy. He knew from the beginning of Spring Training that he was going to be a member of the New York Mets rotation. He got to sit back, relax, and get ready for the season knowing that he would have every opportunity possible to win games for the Mets. Yet, he hasn’t been able to deliver. Are we really going to vote for a guy who had everything handed to him on a silver platter, yet can’t even win more games than he has lost? Pathetic.
On the flip side, Gallardo has faced so many obstacles on his way to elite pitching. After posting a 5.72 ERA with a 1.52 WHIP for the Seattle Mariners in 2017, Gallardo signed with the Milwaukee Brewers on a non-guaranteed $2 million contract. He didn’t even know whether he would have a job or a source of income, yet he went to Spring Training and pitched his heart out. He didn’t win a job (because apparently, it was so important to keep guys like Josh Hader and Chase Anderson) and subsequently signed with the Reds. The Reds refused to give him a legitimate chance, letting him pitch three games out of the bullpen before releasing him. Yes, I know he had a 30.86 ERA and 5.14 WHIP in those three games, but if the Reds are still willing to stick with Homer Bailey, they could have given Gallardo a bit more of a chance, right? After signing with the Rangers and toiling with the AAA Round Rock Express for a bit, they finally gave him a chance to spread his wings. Despite the constant stream of changes, Gallardo has performed like the elite pitcher we all know he is and clearly deserves recognition from the Cy Young voters.
5. Yovani is a Wonderland
Yovani Gallardo has an awesome theme song.
Does Jacob deGrom have one? No (I don’t think so, at least). Case closed.