Monday, August 23, 2010
New Cy Young Contenders in the A.L.
After Saturday, it didn't seem like David Price, Jon Lester nor Cliff Lee were really that interested in winning the American League Cy Young Award.
Well if the front runners don't wan to pull away from the pack... then the actual winner could emerge from a much bigger pool.
Trevor Cahill has the lowest batting average against, is neck and neck with Cliff Lee for best WHIP and is third in ERA. His win total of 12 is impressive when you consider he missed April. Since July 28th he is 4-1 with a 0.90 ERA and an 0.85 WHIP averaging 8 innings a start.
Jered Weaver may have had a rough inning tonight but he is still leading the league in strikeouts and his WAR for pitchers is second in the league. (I typed that as if I knew what it meant.)
Justin Verlander won his 14th game today, which means he is a cinch to win 17 or more games for the 4th time in 5 seasons. But he is winning in solid 7 or 8 inning performances and creeping up the strikeout leader board. A dominating September could put him higher up the list.
C.C. Sabathia (sorry, I am still including the punctuation) looks like he will FINALLY be a 20 game winner this season after 19 win seasons in 2007 and 2009. He had won his last 4 starts and done so convincingly. He's gone deep into games and given the bullpen an easy night when he takes the hill... a requirement for a Yankee team with so many question marks in the pitching staff. Sabathia might be keeping them in first on his own.
Clay Buchholz has won his last 5 decisions over 6 starts and done so with ace like numbers. A 1.03 ERA. 2.5 strikeouts for each walk and averaging 6 2/3 innings a start. (He only went 6 today in a rain soaked blowout. Throw in his leading the league in ERA and he may have surpassed Jon Lester as the team's primary Cy Young hopeful.
Now Lester, Price or Lee could have a dominating September and make a mockery of all of this. Or they can come back to the pack and see an AL Cy Young race that is every bit as close as the NL... if not as sexy with dominating candidates but ripe for healthy debate.
Man, I hope Carl Pavano DOES enter this equation.