The Second Annual Walkoff Walk Dot Com Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence: Cy Young Awards

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acrylicaward.jpgWith the postseason stuck in that lull between the regular season and the playoffs, we here at Walkoff Walk thought it would be a good time to assault our readers' eyes and brains with some award posts. We proudly present The Second Annual Walkoff Walk Dot Com Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence sponsored in part by nobody because we don't get paid a damn thing to do this website. It's a labor of love.

We've split up our choices by award and stuck both leagues together because we're angry and spiteful men. We've spent minutes and minutes researching stats and whatnot to make these important decisions. Please consider our opinions and then feel free to express your own in the comment section.

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American League Cy Young Award

  1. Zack Greinke, Royals

  2. Felix Hernandez, Mariners

  3. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays

Wins are for hausfraus and schoolgirls. 'Wins' are about as important a statistic to a pitcher as 'RBI' are to hitters or 'noodles per square mile' are to gubernatorial candidates. It's just not something useful in evaluating these groups of people. Yes, six AL pitchers collected more wins that Mr. Greinke but not a single one of 'em had anywhere near the dominating performance from April to October.

Greinke (almost) led the league in strikeouts (242), WHIP (1.07), HR/9 (0.43), strand rate (79.3%), and ERA (2.16). Twenty-six of his 33 starts were of the quality variety. He beat every AL team except Tampa, Anaheim, and the Yankees (who he did not face) but most importantly, he did not have a chance to earn some easy wins by playing his own shitty team, the Royals.

King Felix and Roy Halladay each had their own remarkable seasons, each collecting over 200 strikeouts while stranding runners with aplomb. Felix continues to improve as a pitcher but the most important aspect of his 2009 performance was the vast improvement of the defense behind him. The Mariners led the majors in UZR; if the team stays stout with leather in 2010 and Hernandez keeps getting outs of the strike variety, he'll be unstoppable.

Shame about Doc Halladay; were it not for his rising home run rates and the worsening offense behind him, he might have challenged Greinke for the crown.

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National League Cy Young Award

  1. Tim Lincecum, Giants

  2. Javy Vazquez, Braves

  3. Chris Carpenter, Cardinals

Lincecum wins for three distinct reasons: (1) he didn't allow a single home run in over 100 innings pitched at home (2) he struck out all comers, from the best hitters in the league all the way down to the peanut vendors and (3) he won last year and nobody stepped high enough to take the award away from him. Again, he didn't win as many games as his competitors but he also didn't have Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday on his team to provide some offense. Lincecum did his work with the likes of Travis Ishikawa and Randy freakin' Winn 'supporting him; to produce for the Giants, Tim did the best possible thing: he struck out 261 hitters in 215 innings while allowing just 10 homers.

We haven't seen back-to-back performances by a young pitcher since...ugh...Roger Clemens won the AL Cy Young Awards in 1986 and 1987 with his dominating fastball. If we, as fans, are lucky, we can see Lincecum's career last as long as The Rocket's. Hopefully, it will be devoid of the massive douchiness and steroid allegations.

Vazquez nearly matched Lincecum's strikeout rate but also allowed twice as many tater tots. Still, his 1.03 WHIP was third in the league and his 5.41 K/BB ratio was second. He simply did not put runners on base; when they got there, he left 'em there. Carpenter could not match the strikeout rates of either of these dudes but got the job done by allowing only 7 home runs and a mere 38 walks. The Cardinals won the division because Carpenter and his mate Adam Wainwright stranded runners like they were your fat blind date at your cousin's homecoming dance.

Unfortunately, Carp got a late start to the year and was only able to make 28 starts; five more appearances and he could have proved to worth far more to his team.


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8 Comments

I can't say Roy Halladay deserved the award, but Roy Halladay deserves SOME sort of award. I think he was better than Felix but what the fuck did you expect me to say?

I'm going to ignore this travesty of justice for a moment to point out that bc twins fan nailed the prophesy of mediocrity on April 5th. He's a witch.

Also, if having a bad offense is not an excuse to exclude a pitcher from the Cy Young, having a good offense shouldn't either.

It's true, BC Twins Fan not only picked every single third place team correctly, he came in right under the average number of wins with 83.

Nobody else picked all six teams correctly.

Greinke didn't lead the league in strikeouts. Verlander had 269. I DEMAND YOU PLACE VERLANDER IN YOUR TOP 3!! RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!

You should know this, Rob. Especially considering the dominating performance the two of them had in dispatching Cantu's Sassy Seniors.

Sorry, I failed math.

That's right... Where's my prize. Will I get it in time for Tuesday's game?

Tough cookies, Colonel.
/Timmygasm

What about Cliff Lee? The Phils were the second-best team in the NL, surely one of their pitchers deserves some hardware. They didn't get there on hitting alone

/checks stats
/sees they got there on hitting alone

Well then. Congrats, Tim-bo!