Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez turned 27 in mid-September of his first year in the National League following the trade last winter that brought the pitcher with the big curve and high walk totals to the nation's capital from Oakland. Gonzalez finished his first season in D.C. with a (21-8) record, a 2.89 ERA, 2.82 FIP, 76 walks (3.43 BB/9) and 207 Ks (9.35 K/9) in 32 starts and 199.1 IP over which he was worth +5.4 fWAR. Gonzalez finished the year with the highest win total in baseball, the highest K/9 and the lowest BAA in the NL, earning himself a nomination as one of three finalists for the NL Cy Young Award. Gonzalez's competition?
24-year-old '06 Los Angeles Dodgers' 1st Round pick Clayton Kershaw finished his fifth season in LA with a (14-9) record, a 2.53 ERA, 2.89 FIP, 63 BB (2.49 BB/9) and 229 Ks (9.05 K/9). Kershaw, who won the NL Cy Young last season, had the National League's lowest ERA for the second year in a row, the second-lowest FIP behind Gio and the highest fWAR +5.5.
New York Mets' right-handed R.A. Dickey turned 38 in October, finishing his 10th MLB season at (20-6) with a 2.73 ERA, a 3.27 FIP, 54 BB (2.08 BB/9) and 230 Ks (8.86 K/9). Dickey's 230 Ks led the NL, he had the second-lowest ERA, and finished sixth overall in fWAR at a career-high +4.6.
Nationals' manager Davey Johnson talked about what Gio Gonzalez accomplished in Washington, D.C. this season in an interview this afternoon on MLB Network Radio, telling Inside Pitch hosts Jim Bowden and Casey Stern, "He was outstanding. All through the year he went after everybody. And he pitched nothing but great ballgames. The only thing that was kind of saddening, is that at the end of the year he didn't attack the hitters and he threw a lot of pitches and he didn't have his command. But I don't know if it was inexperience or whatever, but he's still Cy Young for me."
"He had an outstanding year," Johnson said, "And he was the guy that was most consistent all year. Him and [Stephen Strasburg]... and Jordan [Zimmermann]... "
Though the Nationals' manager thought Gio Gonzalez had earned a Cy Young Award in 2012, the Baseball Writers' Association of America voted for the Mets' knuckler R.A. Dickey. Gonzalez received one first place vote, as did the Cincinnati Reds' Johnny Cueto and the Atlanta Braves' Craig Kimbrel. Dickey received 27 1st place votes, with Kershaw (who finished second overall) getting two 1st place votes. Gonzalez appeared on all but one ballot with only Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch leaving the Nats' lefty out of the Top 5 altogether. Gonzalez's one 1st place vote came from Denver Post writer Patrick Saunders.
• Here are the results from the BBWAA's voting.