Until the 2012 MLB season, the words "Cy Young" hadn’t been linked to Washington Nationals ace—that’s right, ace—Gio Gonzalez. However, when the National League postseason awards are announced, Gonzalez should take home the Cy Young.
When Gonzalez became the first pitcher in the National League to win his 20th game of the season in Milwaukee, it validated the biggest trade in Nationals history.
Flying somewhat under the radar, Gonzalez wasn't the top priority for many Nationals fans when he was traded from Oakland last December. Although they didn't land Prince Fielder or a stud leadoff hitter, Gonzalez has anchored one of the most dominant rotations in baseball.
Here's why he should be the NL Cy Young.
New League, No Problem
For many pitchers, the transition to a new league presents a problem, but not for Gonzalez. He has not had a losing month this year, and the NL is batting only .206 against him.
His off-speed pitches and pinpoint accuracy have been vexing to hitters, especially lefties.
Better Than Ever
In his previous four seasons with the Oakland A’s, Gonzalez showed flashes of brilliance. He has truly put it all together this year.
His 2.89 ERA is sixth in the league, and his 207 strikeouts and 1.13 WHIP are also career-bests.
Gonzalez has 29 decisions in 32 starts and has logged 199.1 innings so far. Washington has won 26 of his starts.
Pitching Under Pressure
In his first meaningful end-of-the-season baseball, Gonzalez has stepped up. With Stephen Strasburg shut down for the year, look for Gonzalez to carry his success into the playoffs.