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Felix Hernandez Wins Cy Young

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Just like in our own balloting, Felix Hernandez, now and future division thorn in the Rangers’ side, has been awarded the American League Cy Young.

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Hernandez won just 13 games, but that’s because his offense was terrible. He had the lowest ERA (2.27) and most strikeouts (232) over the most innings pitched (249.2) in the AL.

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Among less-mainstream stats, Hernandez’s Wins Above Replacement at FanGraphs (6.2) was third behind Justin Verlander (6.3) and Cliff Lee (7.1), but that’s not a particularly large lead, even for Lee. Meanwhile, that WAR is born of Lee’s nearly half-a-run-per-nine lead in Fielding Independent Pitching ERA, but Hernandez’s xFIP (regressed for “lucky” home run rates) of 3.23 is just .03 runs behind Lee, with 39 more innings pitched.

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Not long ago, MLB Network and ESPN were constantly framing Sabathia vs. Price as the Cy Young debate, with Hernandez likely on the outside looking in. Instead, Hernandez won it easily, taking 21 of 28 first place votes. There is little doubt in my mind that this shows writers are becoming more intelligent, and the community of enlightened bloggers, fans and writers are doing a great job of arguing their strong cases and making a difference. Just take a look at this Dave Cameron article to get a sense of how far they’ve come.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.