Top 5 2012 Cy Young Award Candidates | National League

Stephen Strasburg

Norm Hall/Getty Images

We reviewed the top five Cy Young candidates in the American League last week, and it’s only right we do the same for the National League this week. The AL is much more competitive, I feel. However, there are some studs in the

NL. Some came out of nowhere, while others have been around and aren’t much of a secret at this point in their careers.

The first surprise comes from a team that had him listed as their third starter at the beginning of the season, and now, he’s arguably their best pitcher. This list is much more difficult than the previous one, so please bear with us.

5(a). Stephen Strasburg – Washington Nationals

As ESPN’s Jayson Stark explains, “The Shutdown day” is inevitable. If it weren’t for this, Strasburg could have been

near the top of this list. When conducting this list I needed to consider where the pitchers might end up at the end of the year. With Strasburg’s inning limit inching closer every start, it appears he only has a few starts remaining.

I’m sure some voters likely won’t even give the future Cy Young winner (yea, that’s right) any credit this year, however, his stats deserve it. With 13 wins (just five losses), a 2.90 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and 166 strikeouts, Strasburg is in the top 10 in all of the major pitching categories – if that’s not enough for consideration, I don’t know what is.  Read More…

 

Changes in MLB have increased the amount of no-hitters

Matt Cain

The pitching performances, no-hitters & perfect games in MLB so far this season, as well as over the past six years, begs the question, “Why so many?” In light of Matt Cain’s stunning ‘perfect game’ performance on Wednesday night, it seems that more and more, the significance and ‘awe’ that we once had for such outstanding feats has been minimized.

Matt Cain tips his cap to an appreciative S.F. crowd after throwing a perfect game on Wednesday which was the 14th no-hitter thrown in franchise history. Photo: Jeff Chiu – AP Images

Not to take anything away from Cain’s superb outing, which was indeed masterful, it just seems like 10-20 years ago it would have had more interest and  ‘shock’ appeal because it took place much less frequently.

Case in point…in the last 13 days we have witnessed three no-hitters. The last time that was done, albeit in 14 days, was 100 years ago!

So why are these events becoming more and more commonplace? One need only go back to the end of the steriod era as we know it; back all the way to the famous Mitchell Report. In fact, lets look at some numbers…

Read more here…

Most undervalued pitchers in baseball

When you think about what defines a major league pitcher as having value, there are several things that come to mind.  Topping the list is total number of wins, strikeouts, and of course, earned run average (E.R.A.), however only one of these is an accurate illustration of a pitcher’s overall strength and value.  Let me explain: The number of wins a pitcher gets for his team can be misleading, dependent on his teammates run support during each of his outings.  The number of strikeouts that a pitcher throws can be a bit of a flashy stat, as an out is an out.  When it comes down to it, E.R.A. is the primary element that determines a pitcher’s value to his team.  It cancels out the defensive troubles a team may have, as well as the offense (or lack thereof) that a pitcher may have backing him.  In the end, the E.R.A. that a pitcher posts is the truest measure of his success for that season, and best reflects his overall value.
Over the last 2 complete seasons (excluding the current 2012 season), there have been exactly 10 pitchers in the MLB who have finished the season in the top 25 in E.R.A.  The challenge that I have for all readers right now is to list those 10 pitchers without scrolling down to find the answers.  Being able to name even 7 of these pitchers is an impressive feat, and getting 8 or more is phenomenal.  Go ahead and try to make a list right now…