It was a record-setting season for Colorado Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland. His campaign did not go unnoticed.
After being left out of the top three candidates for the National League Cy Young Award, the Colorado Rockies starter did as well as he could have done, finishing fourth in the results that were announced on Wednesday night by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets gathered 29 of the 30 first-place votes to win the award, while Max Scherzer of Washington and Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola rounded out the top three, with all coming from the National League East.
The 25-year-old Freeland received two third-place votes, 17 fourth-place votes and nine fifth-place votes to finish with 49 points, well ahead of fifth-place Patrick Corbin of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Voting Freeland third were Thomas Harding of MLB.com and Andrew Wagner of The SportsXchange. Both had Nola finishing outside of the top three.
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Freeland’s second Major League season saw him set the franchise record for ERA in a single-season, logging a 2.85 ERA to go along with a 17-7 record. In his lone postseason appearance, he threw 6.2 shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs in the National League Wild Card at Wrigley Field, scattering four hits and walking just one while striking out six.
Additionally, his 8.2 WAR led all Rockies players last season. He led all Colorado starters in innings pitched (202.1) while finishing third with 173 strikeouts.
One of the biggest arguments for Freeland’s Cy Young case was pitching at Coors Field. However, while hitters are often penalized for their plate appearances at altitude, it appears that pitchers in Colorado do not get the same respect when they do well. He went 10-2 at Coors Field with a 2.40 ERA while posting a 7-5 record and 3.23 ERA on the road.
Freeland is expected to be among the favorites to be the Opening Day starter for the Rockies when the open the 2019 campaign in Miami on March 28.