Thursday, November 16, 2006

AL CY- Santana is so smooth, wins his 2nd

American League Cy Young:
Johan Santana, SP, Minnesota
(140 votes, all 28 1st place votes)
19-6, 2.77 ERA, 186H, 72 ER, 245Ks, 47BBs
2nd Place: Chien Ming Wang, NYY (51 votes)
3rd: Roy Halladay, Toronto (48 votes)

MY PICK: Cy-tana

Johan blew away his AL Cy competition like he blew away AL batters all season long. The man hereby known as Cy-tana dominated the league like no other pitcher in baseball this year: he tied Wang for the ML lead with 19 victories, led the majors in strikeouts (245) and ERA (2.77), and was second in fewest earned runs allowed (72.) He also had the lowest WHIP (1.00) among all regular starters in MLB.

For the novice fan a pitcher's WHIP, or Walks+Hits per Innings Pitched, is like the ERA of the new millennium. What it means is that Johan allowed 1 combined walk & hit for every inning he pitched, which would obviously equal out to 9 base runners in a 9 inning game. For comparison some of the less-than-stellar WHIP men include Jose Lima (2.02), Tubby Ponson (2.17) and bringing up the rear, former D-Ray head case and current Padre problem Dewon Brazelton, who at a 3.63 WHIP allows a staggering 32 base runners per 9 innings!

Santana had some of the pressure to be the man in Minny eased this season when rookie phenom Francisco Liriano busted out to a 12-3 start before succumbing to arm troubles down the stretch. That's when Cy took over his usual spot at the forefront of the rotation, going 7-1 in August & September and leading the Twins to the AL Central title on the final day of the season.

Things didn't go as well for Johan & the Twins in the ALDS vs. Oakland. With all the pressure on him to win Game 1 due to Lirano's absence he fell a little bit short, losing a 3-2 decision after allowing 2 monster home runs to Frank Thomas. Minny would go on to be swept in the series.

But although the senior circuit is taking some flack for tabbing unknown Diamondback hurler Brandon Webb as the recipient in the NL there will be no such griping from people inside baseball or out over this selection.

Like I said yesterday, this guy is the best pitcher in all of baseball right now, hands down.

At least until the Mighty Matsuzaka hits these shores.

, Monday Nov 20th
MY PICK: Ryan Howard, Phillies
Howard was simply a (young) man among boys this season, basically single-handedly keeping Philly in the playoff race until the final weeks while smashing a ML-leading 58 home runs. He also led the majors with 149 RBI and compiled .313 batting average. Not bad for a kid who just turned 27 and completed his first full season in the big leagues.
But those are the exact reasons he will not win the prize. The safe bet is the already-established phenom, Phat Albert Pujols, who had comparable numbers ( .331, 49, 137) but has a built-in reputation that usually leads to wins over youngsters.
Then again the NL did choose Webb over Carpenter, Oswalt and Hoffman, so maybe they will go with the new guard in this one, too.

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