Tell me how it would be fair to penalize Hernandez for pitching for one of the worst offensive teams in the past 40 years.
People inside and outside the sport will be jolted if Hernandez wins the award with a record at or near .500. But the circumstances are so odd, the choice will be entirely justified.
Hernandez’s Mariners are on pace to score 513 runs. The last AL team to score fewer than 513 was the 1971 California Angels, according to STATS LLC. The last NL team to do it was the ‘71 San Diego Padres.
That’s right, the 2010 the Mariners could score the fewest runs of any AL team in the DH era, which began in 1973.
There is an old baseball adage for a pitcher who receives consistently dreadful run support: “Sometimes, you’ve just got to pitch a shutout.”
What is Hernandez supposed to do, allow fewer than zero runs?
Sabathia gave up seven runs, all earned, Thursday night. Hernandez has allowed that many earned runs in his last nine starts combined.
The award is not for Most Valuable Pitcher or best pitcher for a contending team. It is for best pitcher, period. And this season, Hernandez is that guy.
Rosenthal even goes on to cite rate stats and ERA+! Even though he isn’t totally ready to abandon win-loss records for pitchers and embrace xFIP or WAR, this is the picture of a guy with an open mind willing to consider actual arguments and consider what people are actually saying. Kudos to Ken Rosenthal. And to be fair, I honestly think there are more people like Rosenthal in the BBWAA than guys like Strauss. They did give the A.L. Cy Young award to Zack Greinke last year, after all.
And I do think that Neyer is right in saying that yesterday’s loss probably helped Hernandez’s Cy Young case. Put simply; anyone who can look at that game yesterday and think it makes any sense to credit the loss to Felix just isn’t an intellectually serious person.