Corbin Burnes wins NL Cy Young with fewest innings by a starter

By , Audacy Sports

Brewers pitcher Corbin Burnes was named the 2021 NL Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday night, beating out fellow finalists Zack Wheeler of the Phillies and Max Scherzer of the Dodgers.

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In the AL, the Cy Young went to Blue Jays lefty Robbie Ray, capping his brilliant and seemingly unlikely resurgence after several down years.

Both pitchers are first-time winners.

Burnes' nod is especially notable, given that his 167 innings in 2021 mark a new low for a Cy winner. The 27-year-old logged an MLB-best 2.43 ERA in his 28 starts, fanning 196 batters along the way. He missed several outings after testing positive for coronavirus in May.

Roy meanwhile paced the AL in both ERA (2.84) and strikeouts (248). He beat out the Yankees' Gerrit Cole and Lance Lynn of the White Sox to become the Jays' first Cy winner since Roy Halladay in 2003.

It's not as if NL voters didn't have a more traditional resume to look at in comparison to Burnes'. Wheeler, the second-place finisher who had as many first-place votes (12) as Burnes, led both leagues in innings (214) and the NL in strikeouts (247). Burnes finished with 151 voting points, while Wheeler had 141.

Wheeler, 31, also earned his first All-Star nod this season, his second with the Phillies after signing as a free agent following the 2019 campaign.

But Burnes eked out the narrow victory to become the third Brewer to win the Cy, following Pete Vuckovich in 1982 and Rollie Fingers in 1981.

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