Tag Archives: American League

Cahill’s a Contender, But It’s Felix’s Cy Young To Lose

I was all fired up to write a Cahill for the AL Cy Young Award last night, but sadly he got shelled for 8 runs by the Yankees. His ERA ended up ballooning from 2.43 to 2.82 dropping him from second to third in ERA. He held the lead in WHIP with an amazing 0.99, but that ballooned to 1.07 after last night, and now he’s now second behind Cliff Lee in that department. He was going to need to lead those key categories if he was going to have any chance in winning a Cy Young. Cahill missed April with an injury, so he had some ground to make up in innings pitched to be considered. Since he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys he needed to keep that ERA and WHIP down to get any Cy Young votes. He’s about as dominating a ground ball pitcher as you can be, but voters value K’s A LOT, so falling out of the lead of those two major categories might have pushed him out of the Cy talks. Until last night, he’d lasted five or more innings, and given up seven or fewer hits in all 23 of his starts. That was broken up yesterday, but the streak was still good enough for an Oakland record, which is surprising thinking of all the pitching greats that have donned the green and gold over the years. I ended up posting Stealing First Base last night, because I was rattled by this rare ugly start for our 22 year old sensation. If he’d shut down the Yankees, there would be more optimism in his Cy Young candidacy. At this moment, I can’t really put him at the top, so I’d probably drop him down to the second tier where I have CC, Bucholtz, and Wilson. He’s got a month left to get a new streak of zeros going, but the way Felix has been firing on all cylinders he’s the man to dethrone now.

If it was decided today, I’d would crown King Felix with the AL Cy Young. He’s been phenomenal after a so-so May. If he played for any team but Seattle, he’d at least have 15 wins. If he was on the Yankees he’d probably have as many wins if not more than CC’s 18. A 10-10 record isn’t anything to write home about, but I care a lot more about the pure pitching numbers, and the 24 year old is having another great season. He’s lost a number of games where his team only scored one run for him or in some cases was completely shut out. Nothing surprising coming out of Seattle since they own the lowest total amount of runs scored in all of baseball. They can’t even score as much as Pittsburgh! Just checking out his game log, it tells the story of his lack of run support. Quality start after quality start, and nothing in the win column to show for it. Over his last 15 starts he’s pitched at least 6.2 innings, and has given up only three runs three times, and two or less runs in the other twelve starts. He’s currently second in K’s (192), second in ERA (2.47), third in WHIP (1.11), leads in IP (204.1), and is holding hitters to a .225 BA (sixth best in the AL). I’ve found myself feeling sorry for the guy. Every time he goes out there he gets the least run support of any of the candidates, and the Seattle crowd knows it, giving him standing ovations even when he leaves the game behind on the scoreboard, because they know they are watching a great pitcher that gave them everything he had. Maybe I’m picking him because I thought he deserved it last year or because he’s on one of my fantasy teams. If it weren’t for Greinke’s freakish year that made Felix an afterthought when the award was handed out, he could be going for back to back awards. Even Greinke got better run support in his Cy Young season last year than Felix has had these past two seasons. I know the award isn’t given out based on a two year period, but consistency can be taken into considered in a year that the award could go either way. Kind of like when Kobe and Barkley won their MVP awards in the NBA. Kobe wasn’t the overly obvious choice for the award, but sometimes you have to reward someone that is at the top for an extended period of time. Same went for Barkley, they might have been tired of giving it to Jordan,  so they threw in a change up and gave it to the big man who finished runner up a few times. If Felix keeps doing what he’s been doing, he should win the award! Now that I’ve said all that, I bet Felix gets blown up by the Angels tonight…

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Early Predictions for the Cy Young – American League

On the heels of Chappy’s MVP predictions, I figured there’s no reason not to start talking about the Cy Young races.  Today, we’ll start with the American League, where I’ve narrowed it down to six guys.  I had my list at seven, but after comparing the numbers, it was obvious that Edwin Jackson simply didn’t belong.  There were others you could make a case for as well, such as Jarrod Washburn and Mark Buehrle, but ultimately, they wouldn’t have a chance to win it, so for that reason, we’ll leave them out.   So, without further ado, I’m envisioning the award coming down to this group: CC Sabathia, Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Felix Hernandez.  Fortunately, the Cy Young Award seems to place less emphasis on the team’s win-loss record than, say, the MVP award.  So, you could still argue that Halladay, Greinke, and King Felix are at a disadvantage, but I don’t think at this point it takes them out of the running.

Rather than making a case for each guy, I’m going to cut right to the chase.  I put these 6 guys side-by-side (by side by side by side by side) and one player stood out: Roy Halladay.  See for yourself. If you asked me who I thought the frontrunner was, I would’ve said Josh Beckett or Justin Verlander.  Given Sabathia’s well-documented success in the month of August, I’d have given him the inside track to make a late charge.  I also would’ve thought that Zack Greinke’s dropoff since his outstanding start to the season would have taken him out of the running, but he still has very solid numbers.  His 2.33 ERA is still the best in the league.  So, if he were to regain his form, his final numbers might end up too good to ignore.

For now, though, it’s Roy Halladay who deserves the honor.  Part of me thinks he might get overlooked because he’s won the award in the past, but that was six years ago.  His 13-5 record is pretty remarkable when you consider he’s playing for a team that’s 8 games under .500.  It’s too bad he didn’t get the opportunity to pitch for a contender on a bigger stage down the stretch run of the season.  Nonetheless, if he keeps up what he’s doing, it would be a disgrace to give it to anyone else.  He’s easily the most consistent and dependable of the group.  All five of the other pitchers have been prone to blowups.  Halladay’s worst outing, numbers-wise, came two weeks ago against the Yankees, where he gave up 5 ER on 9 H in 7 innings pitched.  If that’s the WORST start you have all year, you take it in a heartbeat.  On top of that, Doc basically ranks in the top two in this group in each relevant category.  His 2.65 ERA is second only to Greinke’s.  His 173 IP is only short of Sabathia’s 178.2.  His 13 wins is only one less than Beckett and Verlander’s 14.  Most impressive, his WHIP (1.08) and walks (21) are far better than anyone else’s.  The only knock on Halladay’s numbers are the number of hits he’s given up and the low strikeout total – however, he’s right on par with Beckett and Sabathia in that department.  As for the hits, it should be noted that Halladay gave up a league-high 253 during his 2003 Cy Young campaign.  The key for him is damage control.  His strikeouts are limited because he excels at going deep into games.  He has 45 career complete games, only 7 less than the other five guys combined.  There’s no harm in giving up hits if they don’t score.

I hope this all makes it as clear as it is to me.  Like I said, I would’ve never put Halladay in the running before I dove into the numbers.  Obviously, there’s plenty of baseball to be played, but for now, the Cy Young trophy should be in the Doctor’s waiting room.