I will be the first to say I did not fully expect this. But I’m glad that I was wrong. Jack Flaherty is simply dominating every opponent he faces. Flaherty’s performance in the second half of the year harkens back to 2015 where Jake Arrieta went on a run of his own. Arrieta ended up winning a Cy-Young Award that with the Cubs. And I think Flaherty might be able to do the same. He has a strong case so let’s dissect it a little bit.
Let’s start with his ridiculous stretch since the All-Star Break.
11 GS | 71.1 IP | 0.76 ERA | 0.76 WHIP | 89 K | .151 BAA
If you go back to his start on July 7th against SF you begin to see his overall turnaround. He began that start with an ERA of 4.90 and in the span of two months his ERA has dropped to 2.99. He’s gone at least 7 innings in 7 of 12 starts since that day. From the beginning of the year I said that he needed to be more efficient and he seems to have figured that part out. He’s been able to go deeper into games on a more consistent basis.
Jack Flaherty is positioning himself nicely into the Cy Young conversation. He may not win. But a top 5 finish seems increasingly likely Absolute stud… #STLCards #TimeToFly
Now when you take a look at his entire year compared to the rest of the league, here is where Jack ranks.
Innings Pitched – 10th
ERA – 7th
FIP – 13th
xFIP – 16th
K/9 – 9th
fWAR – 10th
Nothing too crazy as far as his ranks are concerned but he’s consistently among the top 15 in baseball while cracking the top 10 on numerous occasions. He does benefit by not having to miss any starts so far this season. His run in the second half is sure helping him to gain momentum towards a potential Cy-Young Finish. When you look at where he ranks post All-Star his numbers look even better. (MLB Ranks – Min 60 IP Post All-Star)
ERA – 1st
WHIP – 1st
SO – 1st
Innings Pitched – 1st
Hits Allowed – 1st
Walks – 8th
Jack Flaherty’s starts since the beginning of August: 7 IP, 0 ER, 9 K 7 IP, 0 ER, 10 K 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 K 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 K 6 IP, 0 ER, 9 K 6 IP, 2 ER, 7 K 8 IP, 0 ER, 8 K 8 IP, 0 ER, 10 K ——– 54 IP, 3 ER, 65 K That’s an ERA of 0.50.
What will have to happen for him to win the NL Cy-Young this season? Keep doing what he’s been doing. There are a few pitchers this season who have been more consistent for the entire year, but none of them have been as dominant as Flaherty has been during his stretch. He will soon hit 200 strikeouts on the season which would put him among just 7 others in the NL who’ve accomplished this feat.
Max Scherzer is still in the conversation along with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Patrick Corbin, Stephen Strasburg, Jacob DeGrom, Mike Soroka, Sonny Gray, and others. But if Jack manages to keep up at his current pace, Flaherty seems primed to be in the discussion. His performance lately cannot be overlooked. There is a reason he was the Pitcher of the Month for August and he’s on his way to another win for September.
Flaherty has shut up most if not all of the critics he had earlier in the year. He’s been the most dominant pitcher in baseball for the last 2 months. He’s now cemented himself into the Cy-Young conversation. Now all he has left to do is go out and win it.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Flaherty will end up taking it home? Who do you think is the favorite? Send me a tweet @AaronMSTL
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