By Josh Kramer
The Reds may be the oldest team in professional baseball history (established in 1869), but there is one thing this proud franchise has never done. No Cincinnati pitcher has ever claimed the Cy Young Award. Just to put that into perspective, the Diamondbacks (established in 1998) have sported five winners of the prestigious award for the best pitcher in their respective League. I know there is a still a month and a half left in the regular season, but a pair of serious Cy Young candidates currently reside in Cincinnati. I will give you a hint. One is a starter, while the other is a relief pitcher. Despite the absence of star Joey Votto, the Reds have somehow managed to go a remarkable 19 and 8. So much for staying afloat and playing .500 ball with the all-world Votto sidelined.
Sure plenty of players have stepped up in the absence of the MLB’s best all-around hitter (such as Ryan Ludwick and Brandon Phillips), but two players have been getting the job done all year. Johnny Cueto has not only proven himself to be a formidable number one starter, but he has also proven to be arguably the best pitcher in the National League. Cueto currently is tied for the NL lead with 15 wins and ranks third in ERA (2.45). Make sure to note that the two pitchers with better ERA’s than Cueto in the present have 10 wins and 9 wins respectively (Vogelsong and Zimmermann) Then there is the Cuban Missile. Outside of one short-lived rough patch just before the All-Star break, Aroldis Chapman has been the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Chapman has been simply unhittable as of late going a remarkable 22 straight appearances without allowing a run. Also, in 51.2 innings against National League foes, Chapman has surrendered one earned run. Lastly he has given up just 25 hits. Really think about those statistics. Could we be on the verge of the first relief-pitcher to take home the Cy Young Award since Eric Gagne in 2003? Or perhaps the first Reds Cy Young Award winner ever? Continue reading