Hey Phillips, how’s that broom taste? Victory is sweet indeed. And even sweeter when it comes on the heels of some idiotic comments by the Reds second baseman. Man, I love baseball.
Well, today’s an off-day. Normally, I hate off-days. I love watching Cardinal baseball. But today is good timing for one because I can continue to play catch up with my blog and talk about something that is driving me crazy as I read various message boards or articles that are out there.
I’m hearing a lot of people saying that Josh Johnson is the best Cy Young award candidate right now. Really? Come on. I know that wins aren’t everything (which is why Jimenez is gone from contention, in my opinion, despite the 17 wins), but Johnson with his 10 wins is only leading in ERA and it’s not by much.
In my opinion, if the award was to be handed out today, you have to go with Wainwright. Maybe I’m biased and feel free to tell me if I am, but I don’t see how you can’t make a case for Wainwright as the number 1 candidate. And honestly, number 2? Not Johnson. I would pick Roy Halladay, who is also surprisingly getting not much attention. And then Johnson would be third.
I mean what else does the guy have to do? If he didn’t have you convinced before, he’s trying everything he can now. In his last 3 starts, he has pitched 23 innings (including a complete game), gave up 1 (yes, ONE) earned run and struck out 16. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s called DOMINATION. If it wasn’t for that blasted rain delay, he’d probably have another compete game, shutout and a few more Ks.
But, it’s a year long award (as the one-hit wonder Ubaldo is finding out), not a 3 game long award. And there is more baseball left to play. Things could change over the next month and a half, but handing it out today, it’s Wainwright’s to lose. As a Cardinal fan, I love knowing that Wainwright is taking the ball. Just like I loved knowing he was closing it out in 2006. I trust him the way I have very few Cardinal pitchers in my lifetime. You just know he’s going to get the job done. Of course I will admit, that is all very subjective. I have rarely seen Johnson pitch and my observance of Halladay has been sparse as well and I see Wainwright pitch all the time. I know how he buckles knees with that big sweeping curve and gets Major Leaguers to look like little leaguers as they swing at balls in the dirt. It’s beautiful. So I have to go on stats and stats alone. And still Wainwright gets my vote.
Let’s break it down.
First, the famous “triple crown” categories for each of the contenders.
W ERA K
Jiminez 17 2.55 143
Wainwright 17 1.99 158
Halladay 14 2.34 168
Johnson 10 1.97 156
Looking at these numbers, Ubaldo Jimenez is immediately out of it. All he has going for him is his wins, most of which he got the first half of the season when he was better than he is now. His ERA and strikeouts, while good in any other context, are laughable for a Cy Young winner, when you look at the other 3 pitchers stats. Still, I include him because some people just LOVE wins and if he starts tearing up and the other 3 have a meltdown, I suppose he could have a chance.
So now you have 3 pitchers, all with very good stats. Wainwright leads in wins, Johnson with ERA and Halladay with strikeouts. When you put it like that, it looks to be a close race. But how about looking at it like this?
- Wainwright is 1st in wins, 2nd in ERA and 3rd in strikeouts
- Halladay is 3rd in wins, 4th in ERA and 1st in strikeouts
- Johnson is 14th in wins,1st in ERA and 4th in strikeouts
In my opinion, this eliminates Johnson and gives Wainwright a slight edge of Halladay. I will admit it’s close. Halladay is right there with Wainwright. Looking at other non conventional stats, such as WHIP, we see the numbers break down like this:
- Wainwright has a WHIP of 0.97 (1st in the league)
- Halladay has a WHIP of 1.03 (still good, but edged out again by Waino)
And then the numbers that very few are talking about. And if Halladay would get voted in over Wainwright, this is the only reason I could see why.
IP CG SHO
Wainwright 176.1 5 2
Halladay 185 8 3
Roy Halladay is clearly an innings eater monster, throwing 8 complete games. That’s the kind of thing that keeps your team in it for the season, saves a bullpen, etc. etc. Wainwright’s doesn’t look too shabby though. 5 complete games is nothing to sneeze at. Nobody else is even in the discussion here. If it wasn’t for LaRuss’a crazy love for the “right matchup” Wainwright probably would have a few more.
But the shutout stat is basically dead even, with a slight edge to Halladay. But combining these numbers with the previous, Wainwright gets my vote at this point in the season, not to mention when you look at things like Wainwright is undefeated when given 4 or more runs.
The question is what will happen the rest of the way. Johnson starts tomorrow and Halladay on Saturday. Let’s talk again after those starts and see where we stand.
Feel free to comment if you agree / disagree. I’d love to hear who you think I missed or overlooked. Hudson? Latos? Which boy on your team is not getting the media love?
Hoping Phillips is using his offday to realize that he’s a tool,