David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays will be the 2012 American League Cy Young winner. Period.
He'll also be the first AL southpaw to do so since 2008, but here is a much better fact: He'll be the first Rays' pitcher ever to win the award.
After improving his record to 20-5 in a 6-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox Sunday evening, Price has immersed himself as one of the top pitchers in the game this season and, perhaps arguably, one the best left-arms as well.
His 20 wins thus far, makes him the first 20-game winner in franchise history.
Price's 2.56 ERA is the best in baseball, is second out of the ten pitchers who have thrown 200-plus innings with hitters only hitting .226 against him, ranks sixth with innings pitched (211.0) and has fanned 205 batters, placing him in sixth as well.
To any follower of MLB, you should be thinking," Wow! Those are some great numbers."
Well of course they are, ya Jackwagon. Just by viewing the stats on ESPN.com, Price's numbers are the first that pop up at the top of the list--for both leagues included.
If only voting was that easy.
So, for our sake, lets take a glimpse at the numbers posted by the most recent left-handed pitcher to win the AL Cy Young: Cliff Lee.
Let it be known that Lee was with the Cleveland Indians at the time when he won the award.
Before all of the moving back-and-forth from team-to-team, he owned a 22-3 record, had the league-best ERA (2.54), and was the first pitcher in franchise history to win 20 games since Gaylord Perry did so in 1974. Lee was also a 200+ inning guy, 223.1 to be exact, but only sent 170 batters back to the dugout on strikeouts.
Not only did Lee become the ace on the staff for the Tribe, but just a season ago he was battling for a role on the Big League rotation. Price, who made his Major League debut in 2008, was doing the same exact thing.
Hmm. I smell a similarity. We'll see if repetition is a factor.