Some blame Bill James’ statistical revolution while others blame fantasy baseball. Whomever they blame, many sports fans have battled against the over consumption of stats as if they were protecting the Arc of the Covenant from Nazis.
These fans would much rather point at the scoreboard and standings to prove how good a player is. In their minds, a player really can’t be all that great if his team loses.
Thank the Lord baseball as a whole doesn’t believe that, or Clayton Kershaw would never win the Cy Young Award that is rightfully his.
Yes, his team finished barely above .500, but Kershaw’s stats are about as knee buckling as his curveball.
He has the league’s lowest ERA and WHIP, while leading the NL in strikeouts and wins. Amazingly, Kershaw’s 21 wins account for roughly 55 percent of the Dodgers’ wins.
While that last factoid might be embarrassing to the Dodgers, a team that leads the league in ineptitude, they have to be happy about the fact they won 80 games with only two good players: Kershaw and MVP candidate Matt Kemp.
The fact the Dodgers constructed such an incompetent team around those two gives more credence to their award campaigns. If a team is able to be above .500 with only two good players, those players have to be playing better than everyone else in the league.
The National League Cy Young Award is a three-man race between the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw and the Phillies’ Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.
Despite great seasons from Kershaw and Lee, Halladay has to be the choice to win the award.
Halladay is the best pitcher on the best team in all of baseball. He dominates hitters with nasty pitches and never misses a start. Halladay is one of the most durable pitchers in baseball today.
This season, he is second in earned run average, third in wins and tied for third in strikeouts. While Kershaw is having a slightly better season statistically, Halladay has put up the numbers with every team giving him its best shot.
When teams face Halladay and the Phillies, they come to the park ready to play. And yet, year in and year out he is the best pitcher in baseball.
The Cy Young Award is based on the results of one season only, but in this case Halladay’s achievements over the years has to be a factor. He is more important to the Phillies than Kershaw is to the Dodgers.
Without Kershaw, the Dodgers are still an underperforming team who won’t make the playoffs. Without Hallday, the Phillies aren’t nearly as good of a team.
Halladay is the most durable and best pitcher in baseball, and deserves the NL Cy Young Award.