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2010 NL Cy Young: Philadelphia Phillies' Ace Roy Halladay Is B/R's Choice

Lewie PollisSenior Analyst IIINovember 16, 2010

2010 NL Cy Young: Philadelphia Phillies' Ace Roy Halladay Is B/R's Choice

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Today, the Baseball Writers Association of America will unveil its choice for the 2010 National League Cy Young Award, making this the first time in the more than three weeks since Bleacher Report's featured columnists began to release the results of our end-of-season awards poll that Major League Baseball has had the decency to coordinate their announcement with ours.

    Yesterday, we did the AL Cy Young, they did the Rookies of the Year. Last week, they announced the Silver Sluggers and Gold Gloves, a full fortnight after we did. And while we'll be all done by Thursday, they're going to drag their results out until just before Thanksgiving.

    But I digress—here are the results of B/R's NL Cy Young vote.

    As always, the top five vote-getters are featured here, with commentary from the writers who chose them. The full list of results is at the end.

    So read on, see how we did, and be sure to tell us what we got wrong!

No. 5: Tim Hudson, Braves

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    Featured writer: Evan Bruschini

    After Chris Carpenter came back from Tommy John surgery and led the league in ERA last year, Tim Hudson came back and proved once more that pitchers coming back from long absences can return to success.

    Although he’s already the NL Comeback Player of the Year, Hudson will get strong consideration for the Cy Young Award as well after posting his best season since his days in Oakland.

    In fact, you might debate that 2010 was his finest season to date. He posted a 2.78 ERA, a number he only bettered once, in 2003. All this despite coming back from an injury that held him to just 42 innings last season.

    In a year where many pitchers shone, the Braves found a diamond in the rough with Tim Hudson.

No. 4: Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies

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    Featured writer: Dennis Schlossman

    Not one pitcher in the 17-year history of the Colorado Rockies franchise has ever been mentioned in a conversation about winning a Cy Young Award—until Ubaldo Jimenez. 

    In 2010, Jimenez posted a very respectable 2.88 ERA with a 19-8 record, including four complete games—two of which were shutouts—not to mention a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves on April 17. Even in the thin air at Coors Field, Jimenez compiled a 9-2 record with a 3.19 ERA over the course of the season.

    Before the All-Star break, Jimenez raised eyebrows across the Majors, posting an incredible 15-1 record with a 1.047 WHIP and a 2.20 ERA.

    Jimenez’s overall performance may have come up just a bit shy of deserving the Cy Young Award in 2010, but he certainly deserves to be mentioned as a top-three contender.

No. 3: Josh Johnson, Marlins

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    Featured writer: Dmitriy Ioselevich

    Everyone assumes that the NL Cy Young discussion starts with Roy Halladay and ends with Adam Wainwright. But there’s one more pitcher who at least belongs in the discussion—Josh Johnson. 

    The Marlins ace led all NL pitchers with a 2.30 ERA and an 82 percent quality start percentage (Halladay and Wainwright were both at 76 percent). His K/9 ratio of 9.11, sixth in the NL, also tops Halladay’s (7.86) and Wainwright’s (8.32).

    Johnson’s K/BB ratio of 3.88 is second in the NL to only Halladay’s 7.30, but his 0.3 HR/9 ratio tops everyone. So he keeps the ball in the park, strikes hitters out, doesn’t walk batters, and is the most consistent pitcher in baseball. What more do you want?

    Johnson was limited to only 183.2 innings by the Florida coaching staff to preserve his arm. Halladay (250.2 IP) and Wainwright (230.1 IP) had no such restriction and that’s why their end-of-season numbers generally top Johnson’s.

No. 2: Adam Wainwright, Cardinals

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    Featured writer: Robert Knapel

    After finishing third in the Cy Young voting last season, Wainwright improved on his numbers in 2010. 

    Wainwright was second in the National League with 20 wins this season. His 2.42 ERA was the National League’s second-lowest while his 1.051 WHIP was the third-lowest. He was also fourth in the NL with 213 strikeouts.

    Even Wainwright’s advanced stats point to him being the Cy Young winner. He had the second lowest FIP (2.86) and xFIP (3.14) in the NL. He also had the fourth-highest WAR for pitchers in the NL (6.1).

    Wainwright was able to make hitters look foolish all season. He was the leader for the Cardinals staff and can be call a bona fide ace. Wainwright was able to keep the Cardinals involved in the playoff race until the end of the season.

No. 1: Roy Halladay, Phillies

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    Featured writer: Johnathan Kroncke

    Roy Halladay should win the NL Cy Young Award, but he isn’t the best pitcher in the National League. He’s the best pitcher in baseball. 

    The Philadelphia Phillies knew it last year when they pulled the trigger on a deal that brought in the future NL leader in wins (21), complete games (9), shutouts (4), innings pitched (250.2), fewest walks per nine innings (1.077) and highest strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.3).

    Not bad.

    In the so-called “Year of the Pitcher,” Halladay finished third with a 2.44 ERA despite facing the most batters at 993. He also tossed in a perfect game against the Florida Marlins for good measure.

    His devastating breaking pitches are his bread and butter, but Halladay’s success lies in his pinpoint location. Sliders explode off the corner, change-ups die below the knee. And the best hitters in baseball are left flailing like Little Leaguers.

    Halladay had the Cy Young locked up the moment he put on a Phillies jersey. The only question left is whether or not the vote will be unanimous.

Full Results

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    1. Roy Halladay, Phillies—129 (24)

    2. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals—65 (2)

    3. Josh Johnson, Marlins—26 (1)

    4. Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies—11

    5. Tim Hudson, Braves—5

    T6. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals—1

    T6. Mat Latos, Padres—1

     

    Voting on a 5-3-1 basis. First-place votes are in parentheses.

Schedule Of Results

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    AL Gold Gloves October 25
    NL Gold Gloves October 26
    AL Silver Sluggers October 27
    NL Silver Sluggers October 28
    AL Comeback Player of the Year November 1
    NL Comeback Player of the Year November 2
    AL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year November 3
    NL Rolaids Relief Man of the Year November 4
    AL Rookie of the Year November 8
    NL Rookie of the Year November 9
    AL Manager of the Year November 10
    NL Manager of the Year November 11
    AL Cy Young November 15
    NL Cy Young November 16
    AL Most Valuable Player November 17
    NL Most Valuable Player November 18

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