My official ballot as a “General” blog will be cast for the American League, but, in the interest of completeness, I’ll list a National League ballot as well.
American League Cy Young Award*
1. Zack Greinke, KC
2. Felix Hernandez, Sea
3. Roy Halladay, Tor
Greinke is about as slam dunk of a decision that you can possibly have. He dominated the AL in every aspect of the game, and hardly gave anyone room to breathe. There’s some talk about this being one of the greatest seasons ever. I don’t think I quite agree with that (those mid-90s Maddux seasons and late-90s Pedro seasons were clearly better, for example), but I can understand the sentiment. The fact that he did it toiling away in Kansas City, with one of the worst defenses ever assembled behind him, is unbelievable.
And, as good as Greinke was, King Felix in Seattle was nearly as good. I’d go into the stats with these two, but I don’t think I’d be saying anything you haven’t read in a dozen other places. These two are outstanding pitchers, and it’s literally exciting to consider how young they are (Greinke turns 26 this week, Hernandez will be 24 at the start of next season). And then there’s Doc Halladay, still one of the best pitchers in baseball. If he wasn’t competing against two of the best pitching performances of the decade, he’d be practically a shoo-in for the award. As it is, he’ll have to settle for third and our appreciation.
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National League Cy Young Award
1. Tim Lincecum, SF
2. Javier Vazquez, Atl
3. Dan Haren, Ari
The NL is a little harder than the AL, but in a good way. Besides the three named here, there are a few others who can be legitimately considered for the award (Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright to name two). I have to go with Lincecum, though. The kid is a strikeout machine, and his other stats (walks, hits, home runs, etc) are all outstanding. I know it seems like we should probably give it to someone else, considering that he won the award last year, but I don’t know who was a better pitcher than him this year.
Vazquez put up a very quietly outstanding season in Atlanta. His record may seem a little pedestrian (15-10), but you can hardly fault the guy for it. Like Lincecum, there is just nothing he did wrong this year – he just didn’t do it as right as Timmy. Haren started out the season nearly as strongly as Greinke, but his luster seemed to fade as the season progressed. It must be a product of playing in Arizona, because I can’t find anything wrong with his stats. He didn’t strike out quite as many batters as Lincecum, but he did allow fewer walks. His only downfall was a slightly elevated number of home runs, but, when you allow as few baserunners as he did, you can get away with that.
Let me know what you think of the picks below. I’m sorry for the lack of hardcore stats but, if you’re truly interested in them (and haven’t seen them everywhere else), I’m prepared to bring them out.