Sep 23, 2010, 3:19 PM EST
I really hope some of the Baseball Writers Association of America members and Cy Young award voters who still focus on a pitcher’s win total watched this afternoon’s Mariners-Blue Jays game.
Felix Hernandez tossed a complete game, allowing one run on two hits in eight innings, and got saddled with a “loss” because Seattle’s historically inept offense was shut out by five Toronto pitchers.
Hernandez is now 12-12 despite a league-best 2.31 ERA in a league-high 242 innings. Clearly he just doesn’t “know how to win.”
After all, if Mariners catcher Adam Moore had hit a double with two runners on base in the eighth inning instead of taking a called third strike right down the middle of the plate, clearly that would make Felix Hernandez a better pitcher and more deserving of the Cy Young award. Or something
Or if the Mariners’ hitters could have rallied in the ninth inning off Blue Jays closer Kevin Gregg, that would have turned Hernandez’s “loss” into a “no-decision” or even a “win.” You know, because things that happen after a pitcher throws his final pitch are crucial to evaluating his performance. Or something.
How pathetic, both for the Mariners’ offense and for anyone who still relies on wins and losses to evaluate a pitcher. When eight innings of one-run ball equals a loss, then perhaps it’s time to reconsider how much weight you place on the concept of a “loss.” And when 242 innings of a 2.31 ERA equals 12 wins, maybe it’s time to do the same with the notion of a “win.”
Today marked the fifth time this season Hernandez has failed to get a “win” while allowing zero or one run in seven-plus innings and the 14th time this season he’s failed to get a “win” while throwing a Quality Start. And he’s still yet to get a “win” when allowing more than two runs, because his teammates rarely score more than two runs. For comparison, CC Sabathia has seven wins while allowing more than two runs. In totally unrelated news, the Yankees’ lineup leads the league in scoring.