Saturday, August 21, 2010

Should Felix Hernandez win the Cy Young even with a losing record?

King Felix Hernandez won against the Yankees last night in dominating fashion.

He threw 8 innings of shutout ball, striking out 11.
He is second in the league with a 2.51 ERA. He had thrown more innings than anyone in the American League.

He has one of the lowest WHIPs, is second in strikeouts, and according to Baseball Reference is among the league leaders in a bunch of categories I don't understand.

First in Adjusted Pitching Runs and Adjusted Pitching Wins.
Second in Base Outs Runs Saved and Base Out Wins Saved.

I don't know what the hell those mean, but they sound impressive.

One thing stuck out at me looking at his line score:
His record in 9-10.

This brilliant season and he is still sporting a losing record. I know it isn't his FAULT. He plays for a lousy Mariners team that is on pace to go 65-97. Frankly going double digit wins for a team like that is impressive.

I think he should be a Cy Young front runner. Is he the hands down winner?
No... Cliff Lee, who LEADS a lot of those categories I didn't understand and a few others that I do, needs some consideration. (Good for him for getting out of his Mariners exile.)

David Price has had a great year. So Has C.C. Sabathia and Clay Buchholz.
Jon Lester looked lke a great candidate before the Blue Jays thumped him last night.

But King Felix should be mentioned as certainly a top 3 candidate.
And only his record might keep him from consideration.

It is similar to when Nolan Ryan led the National League in ERA and strikeouts as well as a bunch of those categories I mentioned before... but played on an Astros team with a woeful lineup.

He finished 8-16 and a distant 5th in the Cy Young voting. Steve Bedrosian won the Cy Young... but Ryan should have won it.

Look beyond the wins and losses for King Felix, Cy Young voters. Maybe learn a few new stat templates.

Even if you don't understand them, they should be impressive.

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  1. Anonymous2:10 PM

    I totally agree with you Paul. Last year King Felix wasn't awarded the AL Cy Young Award because Zack Greinke had a better ERA and strikeout total; this year the roles have changed, to the point where he's pitched 10 games with 2 ER or less in 7.0 or more innings which he didn't go on to win. As a fellow Venezuelan, I would be extremly disappointed if Felix was treated differently than Greinke the very same year in which Armando Galarraga was stripped of a rightful perfect game...

  2. "I know it isn't his FAULT." You answered your question right there. A pitcher's win-loss record must be the silliest stat in baseball.

  3. Well, I don't agree that WIN LOSS is the silliest stat (it isn't ALWAYS luck) but it should be the end all be all for a pitcher's worth

  4. all right then, perhaps a pitcher's "hold" record is the silliest. Any other candidates?

  5. A save where a pitcher starts the 9th with a 3 run lead is insane.

    If the Yankees are playing the Mariners and have a 3 run lead facing the bottom of the order with Mariano on the bump... is the game REALLY in danger?

    I actually like the "pitch the last three innings and get the save" rule because pitching a third of a game out of the pen is not insignificant.

    But for normal saves, you HAVE to come in with the tying run on the on deck circle