The only person who got more preseason hype than Jason Heyward and Steven Strasburg was Roy Halladay. I don’t have a problem with Halladay getting the hype, he’s a great pitcher. I think he’s actually been underrated while with the Blue Jays, but when I heard analysts on ESPN and MLB talking about him winning 30 games, I wanted to kick them in the balls.
For one thing, the top starting pitchers on a team in this age of a 5 man rotation are only going to make 33-35 starts in a year. To win 30 games, you have to be more than great. For one, you have to have a lot of luck. “Doc” Halladay led the league this year with 9 complete games in 33 games started. That means that 24 games were left in the hands of the bullpen. Another thing is offense. I guess these analysts thought that the Phillies offense wouldn’t ever have an off day during Halladay’s starts. And last, the opposing pitcher. Although throughout the year rotations get off a bit where you have a #4 or #5 starter against the other teams ace, they still line up against each other often. Also, even teams like the Nationals, Royals and Pirates are going to have good offensive stretches as a team.
You can point to other factors as well, such as teams approaching a pitcher completely opposite of the when they last faced him, either being more patient or attacking the first pitch. My point is that a 30 game winner is just not going to happen.
With that being said, we all knew Halladay was going to win the NL Cy Young Award, and I think it’s the right choice. I did an article recently called FIP and the Cy Young Winner, where I pointed to the stats to make the argument for Adam Wainwright being closer to Roy Halladay this year than he was being given credit for. I’ll put the table in here again so you can see what I’m talking about, and I’m adding Ubaldo Jimenez, Tim Hudson and Josh Johnson.
It just doesn’t look like an overwhelming, no doubt vote to me. This is the problem with the media; they take a player and make it as if that player didn’t have any competition. This is not a case of Derek Jeter winning the Gold Glove Award, where the managers and coaches got it wrong for the fifth time (Jeter has won 5 GG awards). I really wonder if many writers put Halladay and Wainwright next to each other and compared how close they really were in all stats. The media was also looking forward to calling the Phillies a dynasty, which the Giants put an end to.
I realize that Roy Halladay pitched a perfect game and led the league with 9 complete games and Wainwright was second with 5, but I just don’t see how even adding these things it makes him the unanimous choice. I guess FIP didn’t matter this year. Also, last year it didn’t matter that the Giants didn’t make the playoffs when Tim Lincecum won the Cy Young Award over Carpenter and Wainwright, but it seems to matter this year. Again, picking and choosing when it suits them. One more example of picking and choosing is that I already heard Wainwright was poor down the stretch, but Lincecum was awful last year in games in the last month. Like I said, I don’t disagree with Halladay winning the award at all, but all this talk of him being head and shoulders above any other pitcher in the NL is just not true.
Here is the breakdown of how the Cy Young voting went for the top finishers. Who in the hell gave Wainwright a 5th place vote? He also needs to be kicked in the nuts.
If I’m off base here, let me know. I don’t see how I can be. Take into consideration what you’re looking at here. Some writer gave Wainwright a 5th place vote. Another writer gave Bronson Arroyo a 5th place vote. Arroyo and his 3.88 ERA. Also, since the writers are going 5 deep this year for vote points, I don’t see how someone like Arroyo received a vote compared against the competition.
Look, I think Roy Halladay was the right choice, and a few first place votes wouldn’t have given Wainwright the award. However, it was closer than the writers and media are making it out to be. The stats prove that. It amazes me year after year that in a game all about stats, writers continually get awards wrong. In this case, the got they winner right, but a few of them screwed up the rest. Is it laziness? Is it a homer mentality? Their job is to be objective, and Brett Myers and Bronson Arroyo had no right to be on this list. Once again, the Cy Young Award went to the right pitcher, but the order and votes of some of these writers have to come into question.