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Gagne, Smoltz in tight battle for NL Cy Young

The battle for the NL Cy Young Award is clearly a two-man race between John Smoltz and Eric Gagne.

Originally Published: August 26, 2003
By Phil Rogers | Special to ESPN.com

Sure, it's been 11 years since one received the ultimate recognition in their line of work. But relievers are pitchers, too.

There's no reason they shouldn't receive serious consideration when it's time to fill out a Cy Young Award ballot. In fact, as teams round the last quarter pole and head for home, the two best Cy Young candidates in the National League do almost all of their work in the ninth inning.

If the vote was taken today, the proper question would be which closer deserves ...

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