Tuesday, August 9, 2005
Good morning ya'll! I have to admit, my 30 year old eyes are just too tired tonight to stay awake beyond the Twins/Mariners game. That 9:05 start time is just harsh! The Twins jumped out to a 4-0 lead, but he Mariners worked the game back to a tie at four. After six innings, my eyes were shutting and I should go to bed. But before that, I just came up with three quick topics.
NL CY YOUNG DEBATE
First, lately, there has been a lot of debate on who should win the NL Cy Young, if it were awarded today. As I mentioned yesterday, Baseball Tonight's Harold Reynolds says his vote would go to Roger Clemens. John Kruk says he would vote for Chris Carpenter. I also heard discussion on this topic on MLB Radio as well as XM's Baseball Channel. Others worthy of consideration include Pedro Martinez, Dontrelle Willis, Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt, among others.
My vote would go to Roger Clemens. Why? There are many reasons, the best being his 1.38 ERA. Others include a WHIP under 1.0!
But I hear a lot of other reasons why he should win the award that I completely disagree with. I frequently hear that he should win it because he is 43 years old, and he shouldn't still be performing at that high level. I'm sorry, but if that is a legitimate argument for Cy Young, let me be the first (and assuredly the only) to cast my MVP vote for Julio Franco. I have also heard people say that, along with his age, his history should have some impact on him winning another Cy Young Award. I completely disagree. This is an annual award, not a career award. Clemens will get his career award five years after his retirement!
The worst reason possible for why he should not win the award is that he is just 11-4. Again, it goes back to just how overrated the "Win" statistic is for pitchers. Yes, it is the one team statistic that really matters, but it should not matter in the least which member of that team picks up the award. All a starting pitcher can do is take the ball every fifth day and keep the other team from scoring for as long as possible. That's all. The pitcher can't control how many runs the offense scores on his behalf. Since this is a Twins site, I will illustrate this point using some Twins:
Brad Radke is 7-10. Seattle's Gil Meche is 10-8. Which is a better pitcher? According to many including John Kruk, Gil Meche must be the better pitcher, right? But look a little deeper. Meche's ERA heading into last night's game was 5.04. Radke's ERA is just 3.71. That is a significant difference! Radke's WHIP is 1.2. Meche's is 1.54. Huge difference, and just more proof that the Win stat is dumb!
I mean, if you really want a ridiculous comparison, is it fair to say that Gil Meche is almost as good as Roger Clemens because Meche has 10 wins compared to Clemens' 11. They must be very similar pitchers, right? Forget the fact that Clemens' ERA is about 3.60 lower than Meche!
Now, I do have to say this. Sure, Chris Carpenter has significantly more wins than Clemens, but a vote for Carpenter for Cy Young is not a ridiculous vote either. He is having a wonderful season. Here are the numbers for the six NL pitchers I would say are still in the running for the NL Cy Young Award:
Name W-L ERA OBA K/9 WHIP IP
Roger Clemens 11-4 1.38 .191 8.0 0.96 156
Chris Carpenter 16-4 2.26 .211 8.5 0.98 171.1
Dontrelle Willis 15-7 2.87 .249 6.5 1.14 157.2
Roy Oswalt 14-9 2.46 .245 6.3 1.10 172.2
Pedro Martinez 12-3 2.81 .190 9.3 0.87 157
Jake Peavy 10-4 3.11 .216 10.1 1.00 148.2
In the end, discussing the winner of the award at this point of the season is ridiculous. There are still two months to go and so much can happen. You would like to think that the baseball gods would even things out and if Clemens keeps his numbers where they are, the "Wins" will show up. But to make a statement for any of these pitchers is possible, but to do that in a way that negates what any of the others is doing is not right!
FRANCISCO LIRIANO WATCH
How long can the Twins keep Liriano in the minor leagues? After two straight one-hitters, it has to be tough! If you're interested, be sure to keep up with Liriano's pitching performance today. Actually, it is likely that by the time you read this, he will have already started pitching. The Rochester Red Wings are playing a morning/night doubleheader today. Liriano is starting the morning game. Game time is 9:30 a.m eastern time (which is 8:30 in Minnesota and throughout the central time zone). Follow the box score here. With such an early game, the Red Wings were surly happy to have the day off yesterday.
UPDATE - 12:00 p.m. - Francisco Liriano threw seven shutout innings in the Red Wings 7-3 win over Ottawa. Liriano improves to 7-1 with a 1.46 ERA. He has not allowed a run in his last 26 innings. He didn't have his great stuff today, as he allowed four hits and three walks. Most notably, he struck out just four hitters. I listened to much of the game online and as the color analyst said, he really showed that he can pitch too, as he worked out of a few tough jams. Brent Abernathy went 2-2 with two walks. Josh Rabe hit a solo home run off John Maine to lead off the 5th inning to break up the no-hitter and the shutout in a hurry. Rob Bowen joined Rabe and Abernathy with two hits.
By the way, Nick Blackburn will make his first Red Wings start in the second game of the double header later tonight.
QUICK MINOR LEAGUE UPDATES
As I mentioned, the Rochester Red Wings had yesterday off.
New Britain lost 6-4 to Portland. Denard Span and Luis Jimenez each had two hits.
Ft. Myers won 2-0 over Dunedin. Adam Harben started and finished the game improving to 8-5 with a 2.59 ERA. He allowed three hits and two walks to go with nine strikeouts in nine innings.
Deacon Burns knocked his 10th homer of the season, but Beloit fell 4-3 to West Michigan. Burns and David Winfree each had two hits.
Dustin Bensko (3rd) and Juan Portes (9th) each homers as Elizabethton won 6-5 over Pulaski. Alexander Smit struck out four in 1.2 innings of relief and Tim Lahey recorded his 13th Save.
And finally, the GCL Twins fell to the GCL Red Sox 4-3.
OK, couldn't sleep, so I just watched the rest of the Twins game (of course, I'll do it again tonight, and probably Wednesday too).. here is where things went wrong in the Twins 5-4 loss to the Mariners...
In the bottom of the 8th, Carlos Silva started the inning, but two singles later, the Mariners had runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. Silva came out, and Jesse Crain was brought in. He got the left-handed Raul Ibanez to pop up weakly to first base. He then got Richie Sexson to pop up to Nick Punto who made a nice play in shallow centerfield. With two outs and runners now on 2nd and 3rd, the team decided to walk Adrian Beltre unintentionally to load the bases for rookie Jeremy Reed. Reed is a left-hander, and if the Twins had a half-way decent lefty in the bullpen, it would have been a good time to bring him in. But they don't, so Crain pitched to Reed. That was the right decision. The problem came when Crain got behind 3-1. He filled the count, but then walked in what proved to be the winning run. Sure would be nice if JC Romero could have been brought in there! But he likely would have given up a grand slam to Reed and the Twins would have lost 8-4! Of course, is that any worse than walking in a winning run?
Anyway, that is it for today! Have a great Tuesday, and don't forget that Felix Hernandez is pitching against the Twins tonight!
Any thoughts? E-mail me.
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