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Touring MLB’s 2011 leaderboards: the pitchers

Sep 29, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

Justin Verlander Reuters

American League

Wins
1. Justin Verlander (Det): 24
2. CC Sabathia (NYY): 19
3. Jered Weaver (LAA): 18

ERA
1. Justin Verlander (Det): 2.40
2. Jered Weaver (LAA): 2.41
3. James Shields (TB): 2.82

Strikeouts
1. Justin Verlander (Det): 250
2. CC Sabathia (NYY): 230
3. James Shields (TB): 225

WHIP
1. Justin Verlander (Det): 0.92
2. Jered Weaver (LAA): 1.01
3. Dan Haren (LAA): 1.02

Saves
1. Jose Valverde (Det): 49
2. Mariano Rivera (NYY): 44
3. Brandon League (Sea): 37

Relief ERA (min. 50 IP)
1. David Robertson (NYY): 1.08
2. Scott Downs (LAA): 1.34
3. Greg Holland (KC): 1.80

Holds
1. Daniel Bard (Bos): 34
1. David Robertson (NYY): 34
3. Joaquin Benoit (Det): 29

National League

Wins
1. Ian Kennedy (Ari): 21
1. Clayton Kershaw (LAD): 21
3. Roy Halladay (Phi): 19

ERA
1. Clayton Kershaw (LAD): 2.28
2. Roy Halladay (Phi): 2.35
3. Cliff Lee (Phi): 2.40

Strikeouts
1. Clayton Kershaw (LAD): 248
2. Cliff Lee (Phi): 238
3. Roy Halladay (Phi): 220
3. Tim Lincecum (SF): 220
WHIP
1. Clayton Kershaw (LAD): 0.98
2. Cole Hamels (Phi): 0.99
3. Cliff Lee (Phi): 1.03

Saves
1. John Axford (Mil): 46
1. Craig Kimbrel (Atl): 46
3. J.J. Putz (Ari): 45

Relief ERA (min. 50 IP)
1. Eric O’Flaherty (Atl): 0.98
2. Santiago Casilla (SF): 1.74
3. Tyler Clippard (Was): 1.83

Holds
1. Tyler Clippard (Was): 38
2. Jonny Venters (Atl): 35
3. Sean Marshall (ChC): 34

  1. El Bravo - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    Craziest stat here: Brandon League being 3rd in AL saves. Who knew the Mariners had save opportunities??

    • shaggylocks - Sep 29, 2011 at 9:59 AM

      It make sense. With Seattle’s offense, I’d think most of their wins would come down to a save opportunity.

      • El Bravo - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        It does. But, the funny part to me is that you have to win games to get saves. I wasn’t aware the M’s won that many games….

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM

      Everyone knew Mariners had the pitching, but their offense sucked worse than the Braves offense all season.

  2. Francisco (FC) - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    I expect an updated Cy Young post soon. Kershaw seems to be the clear winner here for the NL.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      Updated post from awhile back, this time courtesy of Dave Cameron:

      Roy Halladay – 233.6 IP – 65R
      Clayton Kershaw – 233.3IP – 66R
      Cliff Lee – 232.6IP – 66R

      Yes yes yes, outdated metrics, but still absurd to see.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:15 AM

        That’s why I like to look at the Ks and the WHIP when you got three guys so close to each other. When I say clear winner I say so because of the following:

        – He’s been at least the equal of Halladay and Lee in traditional stats or better
        – More Ks, that’s an important stat.
        – Leads in WHIP. Another way to look at it, he’s had to face the least amount of batter among the three with 912 in 33 starts vs Hallafay (930/32) and Lee (920/32)
        – But most important Kershaw did not lift his foot of the gas, he kept being dominant down to the wire. Not that Halladay or Lee pitched bad, Lee was effective. Halladay had a regular game where he showed typical Halladay endurance but wasn’t as sharp with 4 ER in 8.0 IP which is good just not shutdown, but his last tune up he was SHARP. So I guess they balance out.

        Let’s be clear there is very little little difference, but looking at the tiny difference I see Kershaw pulling in front by a nose. Of course his walk rate is not as good as Halladay’s or Lee, but still even with more walks he faced less betters than either pitcher with one more start.

        Of course Halladay leads in ERA+ but he leads Kershaw by just 1 point. (164 vs 163).

        Halladay has the bonus of being on a playoff bound team that broke franchise records in wins but that should be compensated by Kershaw’s 21 wins, which I’m sure gives any pitcher a big boost in Cy Young consideration (Though a pitcher only has limited control over those stats).

  3. tjwilliams - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Both leagues had a pitching triple count (depending on how you treat Kershaw and Kennedy’s wins tie). Has that happened before?

    • philliesblow - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      1924. Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators in the AL and Dazzy Vance of the Brooklyn Robins in the NL

  4. proudlycanadian - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    I am sure that some Red Sox fans are as surprised as I am that Bard led the AL in holds. He had 2 meltdowns against the Jay’s late in the season. If only one of those meltdowns had happened, the Red Sox would be in the playoffs. He lost 9 games and 4 of those losses were in September.

  5. hittfamily - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:16 AM

    Where the hell is iinings pitched. That and ERA are about all I care about for starters. Strikeouts? John Smoltz led Greg Maddux in that category every year.

    Gene Rayburn from The Match Game wants to know: Although Greg Maddux was a far superior pitcher to John Smoltz, Smoltz routinely led him in blank?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      Strikeouts? John Smoltz led Greg Maddux in that category every year.

      ’93:
      Maddux – 197
      Smoltz – 208

      ’94:
      Maddux – 156
      Smoltz – 113

      ’95:
      Maddux – 181
      Smoltz – 193

      3 years Maddux won the Cy. But I like how you make that comment as if Maddux never struck anyone out and Smoltz was Randy Johnson.

      Strike outs are key for pitchers because they are the best possible outcome for an at bat. A strike out can’t be a HR. Add walks, or the ability to not issue them, and Maddux was an amazing pitcher.

  6. scatterbrian - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    saves are bad enough, but holds?

    • Tim OShenko - Sep 29, 2011 at 1:35 PM

      Sure, we need a pointless and arbitrary metric for evaluating middle relievers, too. It’s only fair.

  7. artisan3m - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    Alexi Ogando (Rangers) leads both leagues in K’s of batters with laces on their left shoe tucked inside their leggings. He also leads the AL in innings pitched without a chaw of DoubleBubble in his right cheek. Baseball stats are really a hoot. There are so many categories that a bullpen catcher could probably qualify for a Gold Glove. Of course its the only way we can evaluate a player, but a lot of the category leaders are mere spectators after last night while the not-so-spectacular are still playing.

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