Daily Archives: September 8, 2009

(Not So) Early Predictions for the Cy Young – National League

About three weeks ago, I broke down the AL Cy Young race.   I’m not so sure about my prediction anymore, as Roy Halladay has had a lackluster last few outings.  What I would like to point out, however, is that I also mentioned that if Zack Greinke were to “regain his form, his final numbers might end up too good to ignore.”  Well, at this point, that’s looking like the case.  Greinke’s numbers are now so good across the board it looks like he may be a lock, at this time, for the award.  He leads in the AL in ERA, WHIP, and Shutouts, is second in Ks behind Justin Verlander, and third in Batting Average Against, behind Matt Garza and Felix Hernandez, respectively.  There’s still a month of baseball left to be played, but he looks like the clear front runner in that race and should bring a little bit of pride to what’s left of the Kansas City Royals’ fan base.

Now, on to the topic at hand – the National League Cy Young race.  Once again, I’ve narrowed it to a group of five: Chris Carpenter, Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Adam Wainwright, and Dan Haren.  We’re going to do this one by process of elimination.  Haren is probably the longest shot at this point, given his team’s standing.  He has the least impressive record of the bunch and the highest ERA.  However, I put a lot of weight on WHIP when it comes to assessing a pitcher’s performance, and in that aspect he is the best, 0.95. Like I said, though, he’s a longshot, and would need to finish out strong to have a serious chance.

That leaves us with four.  Adam Wainwright has the most wins of the bunch, racking up an impressive 17-7 record.  But, he also has the highest WHIP and BAA, along with the next highest ERA behind Haren.  His record is due in part to his team’s success.  While he’s no doubt having a great year, his numbers just don’t stack up with this bunch.

Matt Cain is also having an outstanding year for a contending club.  Historically a hard luck pitcher, Cain boasts an impressive 13-4 record.  His 2.51 ERA and 1.16 WHIP are more than respectable.  Cain, though, is supposed to be a power pitcher, yet his strikeout numbers are low, and his K:BB ratio is easily the highest of the bunch. Next.

And then there were two.  Chris Carpenter (16-3) and Tim Lincecum (13-5) are the clear front runners for the award.  I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’m quite ready to choose between them.  Carpenter has the better record, ERA, and WHIP, but Lincecum has substantial advantages when it comes to Innings Pitched, BAA, and has 34 more strikeouts than the next guy, Javier Vazquez, in the NL, and 104 more than Carpenter.  Lincecum has thrown 34 more innings in 4 more starts than Carpenter.  Granted, a pitcher shouldn’t necessarily be punished for missing starts due to injury, but you have to look at the numbers as a whole, and overall, I think Lincecum’s numbers are slightly more impressive.  But, both guys have a few more starts to go, and that will be what separates the two.  Carpenter will have an opportunity to set himself apart, and I think he’ll need it.  Because, at this point, although unlikely, I’m predicting Tim Lincecum to be the first repeat Cy Young winner since 2002 when Randy Johnson won his fourth straight.

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Labor Day Weekend Sports Notes

I just wanted to throw my two cents on the fun stuff that happened over this past Labor Day Weekend.

Shawne Merriman doing his Lights Out Dance all over Tila Tequila after giving her the Undertaker choke slam!Shawne Merriman Lights out Well, that’s not exactly how TMZ reported it, and I guess he’s saying he was innocent. Which could be believable seeing how she was drunk, and he was ordering water towards the end of the night. I don’t really buy that he wasn’t drinking even if he was ordering water at the end of the night, because I do the same thing when I’m too drunk. If there was any question to why the AFC West is arguably the worst division in the league, all you have to do is look at the summer of fun it produced. You have a head coach hitting his other coach causing a broken jaw. There are Broncos star players (Cutler and Marshall) whining about every conceivable thing, and then taking it back then ripping on fans, and not practicing. Now we have Shawne Merriman beating down Tila Tequila. Keeping it classy down there in San Diego!

The Deutche Bank Classic. I caught the end of this battle, and it wasn’t even Tiger related which always instantly turns a tournament into only watch able for true golf fans. That actually makes me more interested than when Tiger is in the running. Anyways Steve Stricker ended up with dramatic come from behind win with a birdie on 18 to seal the deal.steve stricker trophy Although I was hoping that there would be a playoff, I would have rooted for him once the playoff began, so it was good to see him win and take the top spot on the FedEx points leader board. I think this third victory of the season firmly plants him behind Tiger in the PGA Player of the year race, who I’d previously given to Y.E. Yang. If he can somehow pull out a victory next weekend in the BMW, voters would definitely have to consider giving it to him over Tiger. Especially since winning the FedEx playoffs is almost as good as a major, since the field is so strong! So far, I’m really happy with the way these playoffs have been going the past couple years. It makes golf relevant after the last major. It’s a great way to keep the top players going to events.

Shocker of the Weekend, Matthew Stafford will be the starting quarterback for the Lions, and be throwing the ball exclusively to Megatron when the season starts. This is about as shocking as Joaquin Phoenix selling out one of his rap concerts.

Tennis US Open. Melanie Oudin’s improbable run is still going as the 17 year old has advanced to the quarter finals. It’s a cool story, but I’m not really that into it…Isner With Isner getting defeated by Verdasco, it’s the first time there isn’t an American in the quarter finals on the men’s side for eight decades. It’s a shame that men’s US tennis hasn’t been good in nearly a decade. Roddick has tried, but he is more Stiffler from American Pie than Aggasi, Sampras, or even Jim Courier. It looks as though Federer should be winning another grand slam title. Hopefully Nadal can meet him along the way for one of their epic matches. Has anyone else noticed how much more relevant Nadal has made Federer? It’s really his first and only rival since he started dominating, and it feels like he’s made Rodger a bigger icon than he was before the two were consistently squaring off. I guess it’s hard to have a rival when you beat everyone, but Nadal’s emergence only makes Rodger’s legacy greater!

I’ll skip the College Football, because it’s been documented by Mceezy already!