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Detroit Staff from 2014 Could Have Its 8th Cy Young Award


Robbie Ray Is Hoping To Join Detroit Teammates For an 8th Cy Young


It seemed that the race for the Cy Young Award had been decided in the American League, when Yankee right hander Gerrit Cole suffered a poor outing in a pivotal start on September 27. New York needed him to be in Cy Young form to stay ahead of playoff contender Toronto in the Wild Card race, only to have Cole give up five runs before departing in the sixth.

His biggest rival for baseball's top pitcher, left hander Robbie Ray, had been watching Cole's struggles from the Blue Jays dugout. The next day it was Ray's turn to capitolize, hoping to wrap up the Award with a dominant outing in a huge game against the Yankees.

Ray seemed to have convinced any doubters that he deserved the Cy Young Award, as he limited New York's powerful lineup to just one through five innings. Other than Aaron Judge's first inning home run, the Yankees were hitless and looked helpless against the All-Star left hander.

Then boom, boom, . . . boom. The Yankees got home runs from three of the next four batters, comprised of solo shots by Anthony Rizzo and Judge, followed by a two-run blast from Gleybor Torres. In the wink of an eye Ray was pulled from the game not only down to 4-2, but also having blown a golden opportunity to earn the Cy Young Award.

Since neither will get another start, both Ray and Cole may have pitched themselves out of contention for the Cy Young Award. That honor may could end up going to a reliever, possibly Liam Hendricks of the Chicago White Sox or Rasiel Iglesias of the Los Angeles Angels.

Should the voters decide to bestow the coveted award on a starter instead of a closer, then Cole and Ray again emerge as favorites. If the latter wins it will be his first, whereas Cole collected the honor back in 2019.

It might indeed be the first for Robbie Ray, but it would be the eighth such honor for members of his 2014 team. Even though that pitching staff boasted eight future Cy Young winners, somehow the Detroit Tigers that season failed to win even a single playoff game.

Their ace was of course Justin Verlander, who had won the Cy Young with the pennant-winning Tigers in 2011 with 24 wins and a league best 2.40 earned run average. Eight years later Verlander would net another Cy by going 21-6, while also leading the Houston Astros to the 2019 World Series.

Max Scherzer was the number two man in the rotation in 2014, having captured the Cy the previous year by going 21-3. After signing with the Washington Nationals, Scherzer went 16-6 in 2016 to earn Cy and got another the following year with a 20-7 mark.

In between the Cy Young honors netted by Verlander and Scherzer was another 2014 Tiger, left hander David Price. He collected his in 2012, while he was the anchor of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Also in the Detroit rotation in 2014 was Rick Porcello who, like Verlander and Scherzer, would go on to win the award after leaving the Tigers. Porcello went 22-4 with the 2016 Boston Red Sox, helping them to capture the World Series Championship against the Dodgers.

Robbie Ray, in spite of the bad inning he suffered against the Yankees in his last outing, may get his name added to the already prominent list of the Cy Young winners in the 2014 Detroit Tigers pitching staff. With Scherzer's three and Verlander's pair, combined with one apiece for Porcello and Price, Robbie Ray's Cy Young would make the eighth for that year's squad.

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