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NBC SportsTalk: handicapping the NL Cy Young race

Sep 15, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

Roy Halladay

As I mentioned, last night I made my debut as a talking head on NBC SportsTalk, our new studio show on Versus (which, as of the first year, will be known as the NBC Sports Network).  I didn’t barf, drop any F-bombs or ruin any equipment, so I assume that they’ll have me back on from time to time.

We covered all kinds of ground on the show last night, so I figured I’d share some of the segments today as little video posts a la HBT Daily.  Only differences: (a) I wasn’t in my basement; and (b) no Tiffany.  Don’t worry, though: I’m taping some stuff with her later this morning, so you’ll get your fix today and tomorrow.

First up: some chatter about the NL Cy Young race.  We taped this before Halladay’s ridiculous start yesterday and before Kershaw’s aborted-yet-still-awesome game against the Dbacks.  Still, given that Cliff Lee is likely to go out there and toss a near perfect game or something, I believe the point I make about this being the tightest awards race in recent memory stands.  Today Halladay has an edge, but it’s goin’ down to the wire.


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  1. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Should be fun

    Halladay – 18-5, 219.2IP – 8.64 K/9 – 1.23 BB/9
    Kershaw – 19-5, 218.2IP – 9.71 K/9 – 2.10 BB/9
    Lee – 16-7, 210.2IP – 9.01 K/9 – 1.79 BB/9

    Halladay – 2.10 FIP, 2.62 xFIP, 8.1 fWAR
    Kershaw – 2.37 FIP, 2.79 xFIP, 6.8 fWAR
    Lee – 2.61 FIP, 2.77 xFIP, 6.1 fWAR

    Sheesh, maybe just give it to all 3? Should be interesting reading people’s reasons for their ballots.

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:15 AM

      Well I guess it wasn’t you thumb downing my “cut it 3 pcs” idea left and right.

      People will need to rationalize as such. “most strike outs” he get’s it. “lower era, he gets it”. “most innings pitched with less walks, he wins it”. “most CG shutouts, he gets it”.

      And none will be wrong. It will be the closest and least argued over Cy Young race I can remember. I couldn’t begin to form an argument against any of them. Honestly.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        I think if you post anything with Phillies in it, you’ll get a minimum of 5 thumbs down. Thems the breaks.

        As for the CY, I wish one of the teams was in a playoff fight so they’d have to pitch them more. But with you guys clinching and the Dodgers out of it, no one has a reason to go on short rest/pitch longer into games. Watch something weird happen like Hamels win it because those 3 split all the first and second place votes, and Hamels wins because he gets every 3 (no idea of the math involved so I’m probably way off, but would be fun….)

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        If Cole hadn’t blown up in that last game, he could be in the discussion as well… That’s how close this is, one bad game will knock you out of contention.

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        Least argued maybe, closest…I doubt it. 2009 Vote totals:
        Tim Lincecum: 11 first place votes, 100 total
        Chris Carpenter: 9 first place votes, 94 Total
        Adam Wainwright: 12 first place votes, 90 total

        It’s hard to go wrong with Halladay, Lee or Kershaw. I Kershaw hangs on and wins the pitching tripe crown (he’s currently leading in all three), I think he’ll get the votes to win it.

  2. Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:09 AM

    Too close to call!!!!!! I’d like to slice it into 3 pcs with a band saw. Which nobody seems to like much. I’d say If I were either of the Phills, and win it, I’d break it in two on national tv and call the other up to take his half of the trophy. Not only would it be really cool, but it would probably create a very valuable collectors item, 2 of them. I’d like to leave you with this.

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:22 AM

      I had never seen that video before. I have tears in my eyes and goosebumps on my arms right now. I love how at the end they end with Doc’s no hitter in the playoffs.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        “crossing broad” linked it. I felt I had to share it with the NBC nation since they can still see and hear the one posted by Craig earlier this week. It’s burned into my brain……. pure evilness… Anyway. Did you hear 87% of us think the Phillies win it all this year?

      • halladaysbiceps - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        Yeah, Jonny. I hears the 87% poll on the morning show this morning on WIP. They polled a random 100 people on the streets. Unscientific, obviously. But, not suprising.

        Just like the Temple student poll done last week. 56% of those people said the Eagles were going to win the Superbowl. A little high, I think.

        I take these polls with a grain of salt.

  3. presidentmiraflores - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Trying to drive up the video views so they’ll bring you back, Craig? Well, I refuse to play your game! Put that in your bubble pipe and smoke it.

  4. richeich - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Kershaws the best, Hands Down!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 15, 2011 at 10:51 AM

      I don’t think any one of the three is “Hands Down” better than the other.

    • mercyflush - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:47 AM

      Kershaw pitches in a huge pitcher’s park, and also pitches against the slap hitting Pads and Giants.

      Halladay and Lee pitch in a bandbox, right? I mean, people always bring up the bandbox when talking about the Phillies offense (or atleast they did when the Phils O was dominating the NL a couple years ago), so shouldn’t the pitchers then get extra credit for dominating in that park?

      • thefalcon123 - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        Yes. Kershaw’s ERA at home is a full run lower. I still think they’re close enough together that you could any one of them out of a hat and it would be a fine Cy Young award choice, but park factors certainly do matter.

      • dihigosghost - Sep 15, 2011 at 7:52 PM

        That is one way of looking at it. Another way of looking at it would be, since the Phillies have 22 more wins than the Dodgers, shouldn’t each Phillies pitcher have four more wins than each Dodger pitcher. It doesn’t hurt to have two Gold Glove winners on your team either, or to have scored almost a hundred runs more for the season.

  5. summeroftony - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    I’m glad you put the video up Craig. It’s nice to be able to put a face to all of the Phillie bashing. I’m going Halladay for his consistent, awesome numbers throughout the whole season. Halladay’s ERA has been under 3 the entire season. It hasn’t even really approached 3 all year. Kershaw had a slow start and didn’t really start turning it on until the beginning of June. Lee has had a few dominating months but has been so so the rest of the season.

  6. nategearhart - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    I wish this weren’t the case, but I think the most likely scenario is that Halladay and Lee cause a split that allows Kershaw (or someone else!) to nab it, a la Carpenter/Wainwright for those few years that they were both viable candidates. I hate to say it, but Phillies writers should probably rally behind one of their guys and stick with him, get that narrative going. Such a close, great race.

    • Kevin S. - Sep 15, 2011 at 5:14 PM

      Only two Philly writers have votes, same as any year. The idea that writers for one team could “split the vote” significantly enough to screw over both guys is really, really overstated. One of them would have to already be in a dead heat with Kershaw in the other votes for that to mean anything.

  7. Joe - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    As an aside, the more video you use, the less I like it. Video posts are a PITA on this machine. I prefer the written posts.

  8. Francisco (FC) - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    I made my debut as a talking head on NBC SportsTalk

    I was convinced this meant your head in a jar like in Futurama. I’m sooo disappointed. :)

  9. mojosmagic - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    Kershaw hasn’t had to pitch big games under pressure so he should be out.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Seeing that the Phillies have had a huge lead in the East since…forever…it’d be kind of hard to argue that Lee and Halladay have had to pitch under much pressure either.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 15, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Not to say the pitching under pressure argument is anything other than silly anyway.

    • dihigosghost - Sep 15, 2011 at 7:33 PM

      That sounds like an excuse argument. Don’t make excuses for players or teams, either they deliver or they don’t, they win or they don’t.

  10. APBA Guy - Sep 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    The highest value component of this post is Craig announcing he’s posting more stuff with Tiffany. .

  11. sasquash20 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:40 PM

    Kershaw is 23 he will win a few before hes done. I go with Doc. Although a day or two ago I said Kershaw. Last week it was Lee. Its exciting that is all I really know.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 15, 2011 at 3:54 PM

      “He’s only 20 and he will win several more Cy Youngs before he’s done”- said a Mets fan in 1985…

      • Alex K - Sep 15, 2011 at 4:20 PM

        Cocaine is a hell of a drug…..

  12. sasquash20 - Sep 15, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    So true

    • sasquash20 - Sep 15, 2011 at 6:26 PM

      that was to the falcon123 not about the coke.

  13. sasquash20 - Sep 15, 2011 at 6:26 PM

    Some of you seem to think Kershaw is only good because he pitches in LA, and against the Padres and Giants. The kid is a stud. Hes has under 3 era for 3 years now if you count this season. He also is just 23. This kid has a chance to be something really special. I personally would take him over any young pitcher in the game right now. That being said, I still don’t know who I would vote for. The homer in me wants Lee or Doc though. I like Lee more for some reason so I hope he gets it. Plus Doc got it last year. But if Kershaw gets it I won’t be on here pissing about it, kid has had a fantastic year.

  14. dihigosghost - Sep 15, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Most fans have an idea of what it takes for a team and a player to have a great season. 100+ wins for a team is great, 40+ homers for a player is great, 100 RBIs +, 100 runs scored +, etc, etc. 20 games won is the benchmark associated with a pitcher having a great season. If you throw in there 200+ innings pitched, 200+ strikeouts, an ERA below 2.50, and you have a Cy Young candidate. Any season that the Cy Young winner does not reach these benchmarks is a bit of a let down. It would seem odd if the winner of the Cy Young award this year only won 18 games, especially if there were three other pitchers that had won twenty games+ and had comparable if not better strikeouts, ERA, and other stats.

  15. viciouslycold - Sep 21, 2011 at 1:24 AM

    Well when voting the only three stats voters who vote for the CY Young look for are Wins, ERA and Strikeouts. Guess what? Kershaw is tied with Kennedy for Wins at 20. He leads the NL in both ERA and Strikeouts. If Kennedy gets a no decision or a loss in his final start then Kershaw is guaranteed to tie for the NL and wins. Also baring a meltdown Kershaw is gonna win the NL and Strikeouts and ERA. So Kershaw has a chance to win the triple crown and EVERY pitcher who has won the triple crown as won the CY Young. There really is no justification to give it to Halladay or Lee whom neither can even win 20. Neither can catch Kershaw in Strikeouts either and both are very long shots to catch Kershaw in ERA. Plus if Kershaw played for the Phils he’d have even more wins.

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