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Busting the "he just knows how to win" myth for CC Sabathia

Sep 7, 2010, 4:47 PM EDT

Last season’s Cy Young voting was a major step in the right direction when it comes to no longer judging starting pitchers on wins and losses, but Felix Hernandez still seems likely to lose votes this year because the Mariners’ pathetic offense has left him with an 11-10 record despite a 2.30 ERA and league-leading 219.1 innings.
Several prominent columnists and reporters have already started making noise about CC Sabathia having an edge over Hernandez due to his 19-5 record, but Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times provides a thorough analysis of why the notion of Sabathia “knowing how to win” is all kinds of wrong.
Hernandez has a 2.30 ERA in 219 innings. Sabathia has a 3.02 ERA in 203 innings. If you’re making an argument that Sabathia is deserving of the Cy Young award at this point … well, you’re doing something other than picking the best pitcher. Check out Baker’s article for more on why that’s the case.

  1. Panda_Claus - Sep 8, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Listen, Hernandez is a fantastic pitcher and has had a statistically meaningful year. But Cy Young won 511 games in his career and he didn’t achieve that lofty total by going 11-10 every year. Stats are wonderful, but wins (especially a difference of 8) has to count for something.
    Pitching for a deadbeat team does make it harder to rack up the wins, so when it does happen (as with Steve Carlton winning 27 games for the 59-win Phillies in 1972), it carries even more weight for the award. Can a pitcher that is currently tied for 23rd in AL wins come away with the Cy Young? Sorry Felix, close but no cigar.

  2. BC - Sep 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM

    Um… what about David Price, folks?

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