…. Cy of relief

After the Giants walked away with a win last night, I heard one of the Baseball Tonight guys on ESPN talking about the MVP “race” and how Bonds stacked up against Beltre and Rolen. *Yawn* Seriously, Bonds will either win it or he won’t, there can be no doubt that he is the most valuable player in all of baseball, by a country mile. They should just change the name of the award to the Barry Bonds award, and be done with it.

As for the Cy Young award, last season, Jason Schmidt lost to perfection, and he once again heads into September in a race too close to call. This time, however, he is up against an immortal, aka, The Big Unit. I thought it was a good time to look at how the two pitchers match up and offer my thoughts on who should win:

Jason Schmidt 23 starts, 15 wins 4 losses 118 H 39 XBH 60 BB 193 SO .188/.258/.299 .557 OPS
Randy Johnson 28 starts, 12 wins 12 losses 135 H 52 XBH 37 BB 227 SO .191/.238/.312 .550 OPS

That’s pretty damn dominant, by both guys. Johnson gives up fewer walks; Schmidt allows a hair fewer extra base hits…. that is some close race. Let’s look at some other numbers:

Schmidt 2.52 ERA 3 CG 3 SHO 9.95 K/9 3.57 K/BB WHIP 1.02 Average Game Score 65.5 Quality Start% 79
Johnson 2.78 ERA 4 CG 2 SHO 10.51 K/9 6.14 K/BB WHIP .89 Average Game Score 64.4 Quality Start% 71

Johnson has been betrayed by the horrible Arizona offense, he lost 2-1 last night, allowing two runs in 8 innings, ouch. Schmidt has had pretty good run support, so his record looks a lot better. But his rate stats are better than Schmidt’s. Look at that K/BB! That is something else.

(Editor’s note: ESPN says Schmidt has 24 starts, but his game logs record only 23)

Let’s look at the two pitchers game logs:

Schmidt 6, 2, 2, 1, 3, 0, 1, 1, 2, 1, 2, 0, 4, 4, 1, 2, 0, 8, 2, 2, 2, 0, 1 earned runs allowed
Johnson 3, 5, 0, 5, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 5, 3, 2, 1, 3, 0, 2, 0, 4, 5, 3, 0, 1, 2 earned runs allowed

Johnson has 17 starts allowing two runs or less, Schmidt has 18, in 5 fewer starts. If the two pitchers switched teams, their records would probably be within a game or two of a clean swap. I give a slight edge to Schmidt due to his dominance in quality start efficiency. The last couple of games will probably make a huge difference. If Schmidt can come back and throw a couple of real beauties in the heat of a pennant race, he’ll probably win his first Cy Young award. Many voters still cannot see past wins and losses, so it’s possible he’ll win anyway, but a strong September will almost certainly lock it up for him.

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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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