Originally posted on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 8/20/12

The season is coming to an end. We only have a month and a half remaining until the playoffs begin and we will crown a new champion. Another highlight of this period is the customary handing out of awards.

Soon names will be added to lists that include Nolan Ryan, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays. One of the most prestigious of these awards is the Cy Young. Named for the (year) hall of famer, it is awarded to the season best overall pitcher.

The Cincinnati Reds are making a lot of noise in this year’s NL Cy Young race. Closer Aroldis Chapman’s name is being tossed around as the first relief pitcher since Eric Gagne to win the award.

While all of the acclaim is warranted, it takes away from the best pitcher in Cincinnati.

Johnny Cueto has flown under the radar all season. But after today’s 3 hit 8 inning gem it is time we give credit where credit is due.

It has been an unfathomable stretch for the Reds pitcher. Even before today he has been lighting it up, with a 2.44 ERA and 135 strikeouts. Today’s win also made him the first NL pitcher to get to 16 wins on the year.

While RA Dickey’s season has been incredible he doesn’t deserve the award over Cueto. Dickey’s story is powerful, and it is always fun to see a knuckleballer succeed, but the numbers don’t lie. With better numbers in terms of wins and ERA Cueto has proven he deserves it.

What is potentially more impressive about Cueto is how he has dealt with the heavy expectations placed on his shoulders.

Coming into the year the Reds pitching staff looked atrocious. The only starter who was supposed to be good was Johnny Cueto. Instead of wilting under the pressure, he has stepped up.

The position the Reds find themselves in is in large part due to Cueto. Every time he takes the mound Cincinnati has a chance to win.

All of these things added up should be a Cy Young for Johnny Cueto. I think that by the end of the season the writers will start to see that and he will take the award.

If not I am sure whoever wins deserves it entirely. But if it were up to me, I’d pick Cincinnati’s ace.

 

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