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That's Hedley!óMore on the Lamarr Hoyt Award
2005-11-11 18:11
by Mike Carminati

Well, surprise, surprise, surprise, to quote Gomer Pyle. The NL Cy Young award was handed out yesterday, and, like in the junior circuit, the award was given to the wrong man.

Everyone knows that Roger Clemen's 1.87 ERA was the class of the league. Who cares if he had just 13 wins?

I guess you can't get worked up too much for a guy who already has seven statues at home. Who does he have left to give an award to, his cat "Kat"?

I won't bother doing a rundown of the pertinent stats. If a guy leads in VORP, Pitching Win Shares, and adjusted ERA (ERA+), all by a healthy margin, what's the point? Then again, we could decide if Carpenter was the third or fourth best candidate (after Pettitte and Willis). Or we could see if Carpenter is closer to the likes of Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Roy Oswalt than to Clemens. But like, Ricardo Montalban in Star Trek, I grow fatigued.

Somewhere down the line, people will wonder how Clemens didn't win ten or so of the dang things though. I guess that's why they are changing the name to the Lamarr Hoyt award starting next year.

I just have to remark that Clemens is just the 18th pitcher to record a sub-2.00 ERA (150 IP min.) since Bob Gibson recorded a 1.12 ERA in 1968, the Year of the Pitcher (El Ano Del Pichardo), when eight men accomplished the feat. Here are the 17 (including one reliever, Mark Eichhorn, who recorded arguably the greatest season by a reliever in 1986):

NameYrWLGGSIP ERA
Pedro Martinez20001862929217.0 1.74
Pedro Martinez19971783131241.3 1.90
Kevin Brown199617113232233.0 1.89
Greg Maddux19951922828209.7 1.63
Greg Maddux19941662525202.0 1.56
Roger Clemens19902163131228.3 1.93
Mark Eichhorn1986146690157.0 1.72
John Tudor19852183636275.0 1.93
Dwight Gooden19852443535276.7 1.53
Ron Guidry19782533535273.7 1.74
Steve Carlton197227104141346.3 1.97
Gary Nolan19721552525176.0 1.99
Gaylord Perry197224164140342.7 1.92
Luis Tiant19721564319179.0 1.91
Wilbur Wood197122134442334.0 1.91
Vida Blue19712483939312.0 1.82
Tom Seaver197120103635286.3 1.76

One thing about Carpenter though is that he may be the worst pitcher to ever win the award. I mean, that looking at his career stats at the beginning of the year, one wouldn't have expected him to become a Cy Young winner.

Of course, Carpenter turned his career around after switching leagues two years ago. As an NL fan, nothing makes me feel more inferior than to look at all the pitching leaders in the NL who switched leagues in the last couple of seasons—Clemens, Pettitte, Martinez, and Carpenter. I can remember the days when the AL was envious of the NL's pitchers. Oh well.

Anyway, Carpenter came into the year with a 64-55 record and a 4.59 ERA. He had had one year with an ERA under 4.00 in seven tries, and had three seasons with ERAs over 5.00. That made me wonder which pitcher "looked" the worst before becoming a Cy Young winner.

I ran the career numbers prior to a pitcher's Cy Young year and ranked them by ERA. Here 'tis:

CY YrNameWLGIPERAWHIPK/9IPK/BBHR/9IP
2005Chris Carpenter6455180 1,052.7 4.591.456.532.071.15
1971Vida Blue3118 80.7 4.461.236.581.971.45
1991Tom Glavine3341105 646.0 4.291.354.501.510.77
1996Pat Hentgen4733119 649.3 4.231.426.181.731.11
1967Jim Lonborg192777 367.0 4.171.325.982.030.93
1986Mike Scott4752175 885.3 4.161.384.511.530.65
2003Roy Halladay3724108 575.7 4.111.396.301.920.75
1988Frank Viola8074201 1,341.7 4.101.335.922.101.18
1980Steve Stone7879268 1,475.0 4.061.365.411.510.95
2003Eric Gagne1515135 365.3 4.021.268.702.581.31
2005Bartolo Colon11874247 1,597.0 4.011.347.202.141.05
1989Mark Davis3662346 765.7 4.001.317.782.140.95
1960Vern Law8286276 1,441.0 3.981.343.241.330.89
2004Johan Santana2312117 396.3 3.971.339.042.400.93
1986Roger Clemens16936 231.7 3.881.277.773.030.70
1979Mike Flanagan373198 611.0 3.871.305.581.930.68
1984Rick Sutcliffe5340168 865.0 3.841.375.171.330.73
1983John Denny7571207 1,349.7 3.811.384.501.210.58
1983La Marr Hoyt3721108 445.7 3.781.284.832.040.71
1967Mike McCormick8491338 1,614.3 3.751.305.151.730.98

Both of this year's winners appear, but Carpenter is in a class all to himself. No one with a thousand previous innings is within a half run of him (well, Viola is, just barely). Most of the guys are youngsters who were still establishing themselves when they had their big year. Carpenter was a well-established, sub-par pitcher for many years in Toronto. Now, he's won the Cy Young, or at least the Hedley Lamarr Hoyt award.

At least, Carpenter had a decent season previous to his Cy Young year (3.46 ERA). Colon had an ERA over 5.00 in 2004. That made me wonder what the worst year prior to a Cy Young-winning one. Here's that:

CY YrNameWLGIPERAWHIPK/9IPK/BBHR/9IP
1996Pat Hentgen101430 200.7 5.111.626.051.501.08
2005Bartolo Colon181234 208.3 5.011.376.832.231.64
1983John Denny61325 160.7 4.871.416.331.360.67
1984Rick Sutcliffe171136 243.3 4.291.455.921.570.85
1991Tom Glavine101233 214.3 4.281.455.421.650.76
1959Early Wynn141640 239.7 4.131.336.721.721.01
1979Mike Flanagan191540 281.3 4.031.275.341.920.70
2004Roger Clemens17933 211.7 3.911.218.083.281.02
1967Jim Lonborg101045 181.7 3.861.266.492.380.89
1989Bret Saberhagen141635 260.7 3.801.275.902.900.62
1968Denny McLain171637 235.0 3.791.206.172.211.34
1980Steve Stone11732 186.0 3.771.324.651.321.50
2001Roger Clemens13832 204.3 3.701.318.282.241.15
1997Pedro Martinez131033 216.7 3.701.209.223.170.79
1962Don Drysdale131040 244.0 3.691.316.712.191.07
1997Roger Clemens101334 242.7 3.631.339.532.420.70
1980Steve Carlton181135 251.0 3.621.167.642.390.90
1972Steve Carlton20937 273.3 3.561.365.661.760.76
1982Pete Vuckovich14424 149.7 3.551.305.051.470.54
1983La Marr Hoyt191539 239.7 3.531.244.662.580.64

Colon's second behind Hentgen, but it's surprising how few poor years are on the list—just seven with an ERA over 4.00?!?

So given the ineptitude of the voters and the apparent volatility inherent in pitchers in general, almost anybody could win the award next year. The smart money's on Jeff Weaver. Nuff sed?

Comments
2005-11-13 04:35:35
1.   Marc Normandin
Count de Money!
2005-11-13 17:06:04
2.   Murray
Oh shut up--she stole your name.
2005-11-14 07:28:05
3.   Marc Normandin
Don't be saucey with me Bernaise
2005-11-14 09:51:42
4.   rbj
Ah, I long for my Holland days.

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