banner
Ryan Craig

Greinke should win AL Cy Young

Posted September 23, 2009

Every year around this time we begin to discuss the candidacies of several Cy Young and MVP contenders, and this season is no different.

The NL MVP was wrapped up by Albert Pujols before Easter, and the engraver for the AL version should already be double-checking the spelling of the word “Mauer.”

As for the Cy Young awards, that’s a different story.

With guys like Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter all on contending teams in the National League, the race is tighter than a Drew Brees spiral. In the AL, there is a guy on a non-contending team that in my opinion is lapping the field.

That man is Zack Greinke.

Greinke likely won’t end up with the league lead in wins and he most certainly won’t lead his team to the World Series, the playoffs, or even a .500 record.

Instead, he is putting together one of the best pitching seasons nobody will ever remember.

At 15-8, his win total seems modest - after all, 20 wins has been and will continue to be the benchmark for pitching greatness in any one year.

But when it comes to pitching, wins can actually be one of the game's most misleading statistics.

Pitchers that play for high powered offenses can often still win games even when they aren’t throwing their best simply because their team can outscore its opponent.

C.C. Sabathia of the Yankees – one of Greinke’s main competitors for this year award - for instance, has won six games in which he gave up three earned runs or more. Greinke, on the other hand, has lost three games in which he gave up two runs or less.

Greinke has eight no decisions this year – his ERA in those contests? Less than 2.00.

If he’s on the Yankees or Red Sox, chances are he wins at least three-quarters of those games - add six to his current total, and he’s already at 21 with two starts left to add to the total.

Sure, he won’t be able to say he led his team to the postseason, but it’s not like Greinke didn’t hold up his end of the bargain. Against the teams that will likely make the playoffs in the AL this year - the Yankees, Red Sox, Tigers and Angels – the former sixth-overall pick in the 2002 draft has allowed a ridiculous five earned runs in 58 innings.

The 6-foot-2 right-hander leads the league in ERA, WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched), shutouts, and home runs per nine innings, and he’s second in the AL in strikeouts and complete games.

The sixth-year pro is consistent, durable, and most importantly, equipped with nasty stuff.

He’s an ace, so he goes against every other team’s number one, and he does it every five days knowing that no matter what he does, it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

Starting pitchers on contending teams have a fan base, coaching staff and dugout full of players keeping them psyched for the possibility of a World Championship.

It’s harder to go out to the mound from mid-June on knowing there is nothing to play for other than pride and a paycheck, and yet there Greinke is, as reliable as his face looks young.

Felix Hernandez, the player with the league's second-best pitching resume, has ERA and WHIP numbers that are at least in the same realm as Greinke (though both are worse), but he’s walked 24 more batters while striking out 28 less.

Greinke and his team have already lost 88 times this year - this is one contest he should win.


 

Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ACC: North Carolina vs. Miami

    Today at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego vs. Miami

    Today at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida vs. Georgia

    Today at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CFB: Notre Dame vs. Navy

    Tonight at 8:00 on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Duke at Pittsburgh

    Today at 12:00 pm on 620am

  • Big Ten: Maryland at Penn State

    Today at 12:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Syracuse

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes vs Arizona Coyotes

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
12:00pm Today
PITT
DUKE
12:00pm Today
TEMPL
ECU
12:30pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
3:00pm Today
SYR
NCSU
4:00pm Today
BCOOK
NCCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
ARI
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
MEM
 
Final
IND 89
MEM 97
Final
CHI 108
CLE 114
Final
MIL 93
PHI 81
Final
SAC 103
POR 94
 
Final
PHO 94
SAN 89
 
4th
LAL 97
LAC 95
 
7:00pm Tonight
NOP
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
MEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIA
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
MIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
BOS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
DEN
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
PHO
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
LAL
 
Final
TULA 14
CIN 38
 
Final
MEM 40
TULSA 20
11:30am Today
ARMY
AFA
12:00pm Today
PITT
DUKE
12:00pm Today
TEMPL
ECU
12:00pm Today
PSU
MD
12:00pm Today
IOWA
NW
12:00pm Today
ISU
OKLA
12:00pm Today
FIU
RICE
12:00pm Today
UCONN
UCF
12:00pm Today
TEXAM
LAMON
12:00pm Today
RUTG
WISC
12:30pm Today
VT
BC
12:30pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
1:00pm Today
EMICH
CMICH
1:00pm Today
COL
WASH
2:30pm Today
UMO
WMICH
3:00pm Today
SYR
NCSU
3:00pm Today
LATU
WKENT
3:30pm Today
MTST
BYU
3:30pm Today
UGA
UF
3:30pm Today
APPST
GASTATE
3:30pm Today
MICH
IND
3:30pm Today
NEB
PURD
3:30pm Today
WVU
TCU
3:30pm Today
GT
UVA
4:00pm Today
SFLA
HOU
4:00pm Today
BAY
KU
4:00pm Today
MIZZ
KENT
4:00pm Today
NMST
TXST
4:30pm Today
WASU
USC
5:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
ARKST
5:00pm Tonight
LALAF
SALABAMA
5:30pm Tonight
UNLV
NMU
7:00pm Tonight
MISS
AUB
7:00pm Tonight
SJST
COLST
7:00pm Tonight
VANDY
ODU
7:00pm Tonight
FATL
UAB
7:15pm Tonight
MSST
ARK
7:30pm Tonight
OREG
STAN
7:30pm Tonight
SCAR
TENN
7:30pm Tonight
TTU
TEX
8:00pm Tonight
OSU
ILL
8:00pm Tonight
NAVY
ND
8:00pm Tonight
KST
OKST
8:00pm Tonight
UTEP
SMISS
10:30pm Tonight
UCLA
ARZ
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
NEV
SDST
10:45pm Tonight
FRES
WYO
11:00pm Tonight
HAW
UTST
11:00pm Tonight
ARST
UTAH
Final
CLB 1
TOR 4
Final
DET 5
LOS 2
Final
DAL 1
ANA 2
Final
CAL 4
NAS 3
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
ARI
 
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
CHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
OTT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLA
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
WAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
WIN
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
COL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
DAL
 
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
VAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
NYI
 
4:00pm Today
BCOOK
NCCU