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Felix Second, Greinke First in Cy Young Voting

Felix HernandezI am happy that Felix Hernandez finished second in the AL Cy Young voting for two reasons:
  1. The price to re-sign Felix would be higher if he had won the Cy Young
  2. Zack Greinke really, really deserved the award
Felix deserved it too, and it's true that in many years he would have won it with the way he performed in 2009. However, analyzing Zack Greinke's numbers is a study of how bad the Royals were. Here are some fun numbers for thought, all based on Greinke's 16-8 record:
  • Greinke went only 12-8 once he gave up an earned run in 2009.
  • The Royals went only 8-2 in starts which Greinke allowed no earned runs.
  • Four of Greinke's eight losses were quality starts
  • Five of Greinke's nine no decisions were quality starts
  • Only seven of Grienke's starts were not quality starts. Of those seven, Greinke won two of those games. Those were both games where he went five innings and allowed no runs.
  • Greinke gave up a total of two earned runs in his six complete games, and his record in those games was 5-1.
  • Greinke had nine no decisions, despite going at least five innings in every start this past year.
  • Greinke had two starts against the Angels this year. His combined line was 16 IP, 12 H, 2 Runs (only 1 earned), 2 BB, and 13 K. His record in those two games? 0-1.
Seriously, 2009 Zack Greinke is the epitome of no support. His offense never bailed him out in a rare subpar start, while he had many great starts go to waste. On a decent team, Greinke goes at least 20-4. Put it this way: Grienke was so good, even the BBWA could see it despite his 16-8 record. That takes something. This is a group that handed Bartolo Colon the Cy Young a few years ago because he had 20 wins, and basically nothing else.

So, congratulations to Zack Greinke. He deserved something for what had to be a frustrating season, made only more frustrating by how masterful his performances were.

Felix won't come cheap, but Cy Youngs are killer bargaining chips, fair or not. Barry Zito got his 7 years and $126 million largely on his reputation as a Cy Young award-winner. It's a chip that Hernandez usually would have after a season like 2009, but he does not. Bad break for him, good break for the Mariners.