BY SPNW Staff 08:06AM 09/06/2012

Who Should Win The AL Cy Young Award?

Felix Hernandez leads the American League in ERA and inning pitched, but has he done enough to win the American League Cy Young award? Vote here.

Felix Hernandez is among the favorites to win the American League Cy Young award. But has he done enough to edge out David Price, Fernando Rodney and Jered Weaver? / Getty Images

If Major League Baseball announced the 2012 Cy Young awards Thursday, the winners would be Tampa Bay’s David Price in the American League and R.A. Dickey of the Mets in the National League, according to the “MLB Cy Young Predictor,” an in-season snapshot of the competition to be the best pitcher in each league. Price is 17-5, 2.54 ERA and has 160.5 “Cy Young Points.” Dickey, a former Mariner castoff (2008) who won his 18th game Wednesday, is 18-4, 2.64 and has 163.1 points.

According to the Cy Young Predictor, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez (13-6, 2.51) would finish third in the AL voting behind Price and Tampa Bay closer Fernando Rodney, who has 42 saves and a 0.71 ERA.

Hernandez, named the American League Pitcher of the Month for August, might have ranked higher than third had he not dropped his last start, his first loss in 10 decisions.

The Mariners, 2-1 winners over Boston behind Kevin Millwood Wednesday, are naturally tub-thumping a Hernandez candidacy. The Mariners make these compelling points about their ace:

  • Leads the AL in shutouts (5) and innings pitched (196.2), is second in complete games (5), third in strikeouts (184), third in opponent batting average (.218), T3 in quality starts (19), T6 in wins (13) and 10th with 8.42 strikeouts per nine innings.
  • Five shutouts leads the majors, all coming in a 12-start span; is the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1998 to record 5+ shutouts in 12-start span.
  • Joins Bert Blyleven (1989), Roger Clemens (1992) and David Wells (1998) as the only AL pitchers with five shutouts in a season over the last 24 seasons.
  • Won three August shutouts by 1-0 score, becoming the third pitcher in history with three 1-0 shutouts in a calendar month, joining Dick Rudolph (August 1916) and Carl Hubbell (July 1933).
  • Has four 1-0 shutouts overall, becoming the third pitcher during the divisional era (since 1969) to have four wins with the score 1-0 in a single season (all CG shutouts), joining Hall of Famers Fergie Jenkins (1974) and Bert Blyleven (1976).
  • Has 16 starts in which he has pitched 7.0 or more innings with one or fewer runs allowed, leading the majors; had 15 such starts in his 2010 Cy Young season.
  • Has 11 starts in which he has allowed one or fewer runs in 8.0 or more innings, nearly double the total any other pitcher this season.
  • Has allowed two or fewer runs in an American League-leading 19 games (David Price is second with 18).
  • Has the fourth-lowest run support average in the American League.
  • Ranks third in the AL in wins above replacement for pitchers (5.3).

Hernandez, who also threw a perfect game Aug. 15, takes the mound Friday and will be opposed by A.J. Griffin, who will make his first career start against Seattle. A closer look at the weekend matchups.


RHP Felix Hernandez (13-6, 2.51) vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (4-0, 2.26)

Hernandez: The Mariners ace suffered his first defeat since June 12 in a 5-2 loss to the Angels Saturday but is still 9-1 with a 1.62 ERA over his last 15 starts; vs. Athletics: 2012, 1-1, 3.10 ERA in four starts covering 29,0 innings; career, 13-5 with a 2.63 ERA in 25 outings.

Griffin: Griffin pitched a three-hitter over seven innings in his previous start, his first since returning from the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. The rookie has been pitching well all year and has a 1.50 ERA in three road games.


RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (6-3, 3.14 ERA) vs. LHP Brett Anderson (3-0, 0.90)

Iwakuma: After 7.1 scoreless innings against the Angels last Sunday, Iwakuma has allowed just one earned run in his last four starts. In an impressive late season run, the righty is 5-1 with a 1.59 ERA in his last eight starts; vs. Athletics: 2012, 0-1, 2.45 ERA in one relief appearance covering 3.2 innings; 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Anderson: After returning from Tommy John surgery, Anderson made five starts for Sacramento, going 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA. He made his first start for Oakland Aug. 21, defeating Minnesota 4-1. In three starts covering 20.0 innings, Anderson has allowed just two earned runs with 15 strikeouts and three walks; vs. Mariners: 2012, 0-0, 0.00 ERA; career, 6-3, 1.90 ERA in 12 starts covering 75.2 innings; 63 strikeouts to 16 walks; five home runs; 7.5 strikeouts per nine innings.


LHP Jason Vargas (14-9, 3.80) vs. LHP Tommy Milone (11-10, 3.94)

Vargas: Vargas got back on track with seven innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 win over Boston Monday, increasing his career high win total to 14. vs. Athletics: 2012, 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in four starts; career, 5-4, 3.24 ERA in 13 games, including 11 starts, covering 75.0 innings.

Milone: Milone has won only two of his last six decisions and is coming off an 8-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels Sept. 3, in which he allowed five earned runs on 10 hits. He lasted just 3.0 innings. Vs. Mariners: 2012 (and career) 1-1, 2.25 ERA in two starts covering 20.0 innings; lost to the Mariners 4-0 April 14, defeated the Mariners 1-0 June 25 at Safeco Field.


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