Los Angeles – Japanese starters Yu Darvish and Kenta Maeda were among the six finalists announced as contenders for this season’s Cy Young Award recognizing the best pitchers in Major League Baseball.
Darvish is up against Trevor Bauer and two-time winner Jacob deGrom in the National League, while Maeda faces competition from Shane Bieber and South Korean ace Ryu Hyun Jin in the American League. The winners from each league will be announced on Nov. 11.
If either Japanese pitcher wins, he would be the first from his country to claim the prestigious award.
In his third year with the Chicago Cubs, Darvish went 8-3 with a 2.01 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 12 starts and became the first Japanese pitcher in the majors to lead either league in wins.
Maeda went 6-1 with an 2.70 ERA and 80 strikeouts in 11 starts in his first season with the Minnesota Twins and led the majors with a 0.75 WHIP over 66⅔ innings.
Both pitchers, who are also among the nominees for the All-MLB Team, helped their teams reach the Wild Card Series after winning their respective divisions in the abbreviated regular season, shortened to 60 games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finalists for this season’s Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year were also announced. The winners will be voted on by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and revealed between Nov. 9 and Nov. 12.
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