Saturday, November 20, 2010

King Felix Crowned AL Cy Young Winner

On Thursday, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez won the AL Cy Young Award despite posting a won loss record of 13-12. Last year, Hernandez posted a 19-5 record and finished runner up in the Cy Young balloting to Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals.

But what earned Hernandez his first Cy Young was leading the AL in innings pitched and ERA and finishing second in strikeouts. It also must be noted that the Mariners offense was pitiful. They scored only 513 runs in 2010. To put that number into perspective the New York Yankees scored nearly 350 more runs than the Mariners. Had the Mariners scored a few more runs he might have been closer to his 19-5 mark of 2009.

Still, twenty years ago it would have been inconceivable that a starting pitcher with only 13 wins over a full season would have a chance at winning the Cy Young. In 1990, Bob Welch of the Oakland Athletics won 27 games en route to his only Cy Young. How pitching has changed.

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