Handing Out The Hardware, Part V: A.L. Cy Young
Now that I look at it, the National League Most Valuable Player should have been Part V, but you’ll see why later.
Now, it’s time for the American League Cy Young. A pitcher who wins a Cy Young should be a great pitcher. They shouldn’t, necessarily, lead the league in wins or be on a winning team. They should have a lot of quality starts, over 200 innings, and most of all have a low walks plus hits over innings pitched (otherwise known as WHIP).
Why all of these? That represents an ace, the main man of the league. He keeps his team in the game every time out (quality starts), is a workhorse by keeping the bullpen fresh every fifth day (innings), and keeps the men off base, which keeps the opposing team from scoring (WHIP).
With all of this said, this year’s American League Cy Young Award winner is:
Roy Halladay RHP, Toronto Blue Jays
Sorry Cleveland Indians fans, but Halladay takes the cake this year. He is the definition of an ace, while posting great numbers. He has the lowest WHIP in the AL (1.04), second in quality starts (20), first in innings pitched (218), third in strikeouts (185), and has only walked 34.
Let’s not forget he’s the main reason the Blue Jays are staying in the Wild Card race.
Cliff Lee LHP, Cleveland Indians
No offense to Lee, but Halladay is the best pitcher this year. This isn’t to discount Lee. He had a very disappointing 2007, and has bounced back well to give the Indians hope for 2009.
He has 21 wins, 202 innings, 154 strikeouts in just 28 games. He has certainly had a great season, but he’ll just miss out on the award.
Francisco Rodriguez RHP, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
K-Rod, as he’s called, is going to break Bobby Thigpen’s season record for saves (57) and is one of the most dominating closer’s in the game today; however, closers aren’t Cy Young award winners.
As Billy Beane puts it, anyone can pitch one inning. Sure, his saves are great and they’re certainly helping the Angels run away with the AL West, but he’s just not a lock for a Cy Young.
And there you have it folks. Part V has come and gone, with Part VI soon to follow. Look for Part VI later on when I hand out the NL Cy Young.
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