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Brad Miller on Zack Wheeler: ‘It’s Cy Young, MVP – it’s all of it’


Zack Wheeler has been one of baseball’s best pitchers in 2021. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Brad Miller is aware of the historically-dominant season that Jacob deGrom is having for the New York Mets. deGrom has an 0.95 ERA in 14 starts this season, and is the odds-on favorite to win both the National League Cy Young Award and MVP.

But while the Philadelphia Phillies utility-man understands the context of deGrom’s 2021 season, Miller seems to believe that in just about any other year we’d be talking about Wheeler as in the discussion for both awards.

“It’s amazing,” Miller said of Wheeler’s season thus far after Friday night’s win. “I think obviously with deGrom doing what he’s doing, it [Wheeler’s season] doesn’t get talked about enough because deGrom has been amazing. and historic. But what our guy is doing is Cy Young, MVP – it’s all of it. Some of his starts, if I’m not starting, he’s just on the corners with power stuff, it’s incredible. I love his demeanor. He’s a workhorse, and yeah, it’s been really special to get to watch him pitch every five days.”

After pitching 7 2/3 scoreless Friday, Wheeler’s ERA is down to 2.05, the fifth-best mark among qualified starters in baseball, trailing only deGrom, Kevin Gausman, Brandon Woodruff and Kyle Gibson.

The 31-year-old doesn’t trail anyone in terms of innings pitched this season, having already racked up 114 innings this season. Joe Girardi has acknowledged throughout the course of the season that the Phillies need to be careful not to push Wheeler too much given that he threw 71 total innings in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. It’s no doubt impressive, though, that Wheeler is at 114 innings, and no other starter in baseball has even reached 110.

If deGrom stays healthy, he’s almost certain to win both the Cy Young Award and MVP in the National League, and he’ll deserve to. But if there is any slip up from deGrom, his former teammate may have something to say about who wins at least one of those awards.

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