Dear BBWAA Members who voted for CC Sabathia over Felix Hernandez for AL Cy Young.
I know why you voted for Sabathia over Hernandez: Because he won more games. I get it. Baseball is about winning games, and CC “won” more games. But let us ask why CC won more games, despite giving up a run more per game than Felix gave up. Please allow me to explore why Hernandez, who led all starting pitchers in ERA (yes, even lower than every NL pitcher facing pitchers instead of DHs), managed to lose 12 games.
Answer: Sabathia won more games than Hernandez, because Sabathia played for the far superior team. The Yankees scored the most runs in all of baseball. Seattle scored the fewest runs in all of baseball. Yes, it’s true: Even every NATIONAL LEAGUE TEAM scored more runs than Seattle. So, while CC was padding win totals on the power of the Yankee offense (which scored two more runs a game than Seattle), Hernandez was saddled with the world’s worst offense, leading to things like losing 1-0 on the second to last game of the season. Plus, the Yankees had baseball’s fewest errors, and Seattle was among baseball’s leaders in errors. Again, these are things that cost Hernandez wins, but were outside his control.
Oh, and Hernandez did face the “best offense in baseball” Yankees 3 times last year. Results:
9 innings, 0 ER
9 innings, 1 ER
8 innings, 0 ER.
A Cy Young performance indeed!
PS Speaking of not punishing players for how bad their teammates were, can we put Tim Raines and Bert Blyleven in the HOF already?