Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 28, 2009
BASEBALL: Z Is For Cy

While we are on the subject of AL awards, a quick cut on the data for the AL Cy Young Award, looking at the 18 AL ERA qualifiers (not counting Cliff Lee, who will cease qualifying by season's end) with ERAs under 4.00 (you win a prize if before the season you thought this list would include Jeff Niemann, Edwin Jackson and two Rangers):

#PWLW-L%ERAGSCGIPERA+QIQCIURA
1Z.Greinke168.6672.06326223.3213475635690.36
2F.Hernandez175.7732.49322224.3174390283680.56
3R.Halladay1610.6152.90318230.0151347303840.31
4C.C.Sabathia197.7313.21332227.3139315953290.24
5E.Jackson138.6193.36321209.0136284241950.30
6J.Lester148.6363.52312197.0135265953000.14
7J.Verlander179.6543.41333224.3134300564070.28
8J.Beckett166.7273.78314207.3125259132650.35
9J.Danks1210.5453.82300186.3123229151560.24
10J.Lackey118.5793.77261174.3121210902150.46
11K.Millwood1210.5453.75302189.6120227521260.28
12J.Niemann126.6673.81282172.3119205041690.26
13M.Buehrle1210.5453.95321207.3119246691380.26
14J.Weaver158.6523.84324206.0118243082050.13
15G.Floyd1111.5004.06301193.0116223882200.28
16S.Feldman176.7393.90290180.0116208801480.05
17J.Washburn99.5003.78281176.0116204161250.15
18M.Garza811.4213.93310197.0116228522060.18

QI= Quality Innings, a quick-and-dirty metric I like to use: ERA+ times innings pitched.

QCI= Quality Component Innings, a similar metric to quickly look at the defense-independent numbers: K/((HR*4)+BB)

URA: Unearned Run Average. Just worth checking to see who's giving up an unusual number of unearned runs. In this case, almost all the best ERA guys are allowing a few extra unearned runs, most of all King Felix.

Anyway, this cut on the numbers pretty strongly underlines why Greinke is the obvious Cy Young choice. He's just so far ahead of the field when you add up measures of quality, and he's carried about the same workload as the league's big workhorses, and only Sabathia with the Yankees offense behind him is more than one win ahead of him.


Posted by Baseball Crank at 3:11 PM | Baseball 2009 | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

I was looking at your linked list of catchers and saw the name "Bubbles Hargrave" for 1926. What kind of nickname is that? Sounds like one that would get a lot of razzing in the clubhouse. It says his real name is Eugene Franklin Hargrave. I'd rather be called Eugene than "Bubbles." Maybe he was an illicit champagne supplier during prohibition.

Posted by: MVH at September 28, 2009 4:35 PM

2nd most important number, 0, is the number of starts Greinke made against the Royals divided by the number of starts with the Royals.

Anything short of unanimous decision for Zack is an outrage.

Posted by: Sai-Kit Hui at September 28, 2009 4:56 PM

I am not trying to beat a dead horse-but is there a way of comparing the AL East lineups and stadiums with the AL Central's. I mean look at the Orioles-they are the weakest team in the AL East and they have a decent offense. I would guess,14 starts against NY, Boston and Tampa really can't compare to 14 starts against Detroit, Cleveland and Minnesota. Maybe I am wrong.

Posted by: dch at September 28, 2009 4:56 PM

I think King Felix still has a chance to sneak in if he finishes with two big outings (and wins) and Greinke doesn't win his last start. But if the season ended today, nobody but Greinke really ought to win.

Some voters will go for Sabathia, especially if he gets his twentieth win. But the difference between pitching for the best team in the leage and the worst really ought to offset the win difference.

Posted by: Jerry at September 28, 2009 5:01 PM

DCH, Zack just did the same thing the the Red Sox that he has been doing to everyone else. After watching him all season, I have never seen a more dominating season. The real beauty of Zack's season is he has done it with little run support and a below average defense. When there were no runs, he didn't give up any and when there were errors he produced K's. Zack for Cy should be a slam dunk!!!!

Posted by: maddirishman at September 28, 2009 8:40 PM

I hear you. I am a Yankee fan and he never pitched against us this year. Halladay I see a lot of and I like a lot.

Posted by: dch at September 28, 2009 9:56 PM

dch-- as Joe Posnanski has stated several times, keep this in mind: Zack Greinke also hasn't gotten to pitch against the Royals.

Posted by: David at September 28, 2009 11:36 PM

Halladay has had the toughest road to hoe for sure with the aforementioned 14 starts against Boston, Yankees (6 starts and 3 CGs) and Tampa.

CC has had the easiest of the top 4 contenders with 9 starts against the Sox, Tampa and the Angels, amassing a 3-4 record with an ERA of 3.75. He's 10-1 against Baltimore, Mets, Twins, Royals, Jays and Indians with an ERA under 2. His win against the Twins was not during their current surge.

Hernanadez has an impressive resume. He has faced the Angels, Rangers, Sox, Yankees and Tampa a total of 13 times, is 6-2 with an ERA of 2.26. Just under half of his innings this year are against those 5 teams. Pretty good stuff.

It's a 2 horse race but I think Greinke deserves it and wins it unless he goes tits up in his last 2 starts. He's been devastating most of the year, gave the KC fans some hope for a month and if he pitched for the Yankees would likely be in the low to mid-20s for wins already.

Posted by: jim at September 29, 2009 3:30 PM
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