Posts Tagged ‘Jason Motte’

2012 Awards: Cy Young

November 2, 2012

The Cy Young Award Namesake in 1891

And finally, the Cy Young Awards for 2012. Again who I think will win and who I think should win.

NL–My guess is that R.A. Dickey will win this award. He has excellent, but not overpowering, numbers and is a great story. The great story isn’t supposed to count for Cy Young voting, but you know it will. He led the NL in inning pitched, strikeouts, shutouts, and complete games. He was in the top two or three in a number of other stats. All that is probably good enough to pick up the award. But of course there are other contenders. Gio Gonzalez led the league in wins, but was frequently seen as the number two pitcher behind Strasburg. Clayton Kershaw led in ERA and WHIP. Matt Cain was the ace whose team actually won something. Johnny Cueto led in ERA+ and in games started. All of them are contenders, but no one dominated the NL this season. I think that puts Dickey in the driver’s seat. Oh, and Craig Kimbrel the reliever? The key stat, like it or not, for relievers is the save. Kimbrel finished tied with Jason Motte of St. Louis with 42. You can’t win the Cy Young as a reliever and be tied with someone else in saves.

I really have no particular preference in this race, although as a Dodgers fan I like Kershaw. I don’t think he did well enough to repeat. So my vote would reluctantly go to Dickey.

AL–This award seems to be a three man race between Justin Verlander, David Price, Jered Weaver (with an occasional mention of Matt Harrison at Texas). Verlander led the AL in strikeouts, ERA+, and complete games while finishing second WHIP and ERA. Price led the AL in ERA, wins, and winning percentage while finishing second in ERA+. Weaver tied Price for most wins and winning percentage, then led the AL in WHIP. He was also third in ERA. All that means that no one of the three was utterly dominant (no Randy Johnson in this bunch) but that all did well. My personal choice is for a Verlander repeat, but he had the least wins of the group. That could give either of the others a way to slip in over Verlander. Ultimately, I think Verlander, the only one whose team made the playoffs, will take home his second Cy Young Award.

This concludes my take on the 2012 postseason awards. The winners will be revealed 12-15 November and we’ll see how I do. If I do well then expect me to spend at least one post lording it over the riff raff. If I do poorly, “What awards?”.

Four Outs

October 13, 2011

He got more than four outs

Now I’m normally not one to spout on and on about players being better when I was younger. Some of them were, some of them weren’t. But last night during the Cardinals-Brewers game I had to sit there in the eighth and ninth innings and listen over and over and over and over and over and …well, you get the idea, to a color guy tell me how hard it was going to be for Jason Motte, the Cardinals closer, to get four outs to end a playoff game. I’ll acknowledge that getting any out in a playoff game is hard enough (so is doing it in a regular season game) and that getting the 27th out is especially tricky, but four outs? Let me note something here. Way back when I was younger bullpen men got four outs with regularity. Let me just use four guys, which is a small sample but will have to do.

In 1959 Larry Sherry became the first reliever to be chosen World Series MVP (they only started the award in 1955). He got two wins and two saves (all four of the Dodgers wins). In four games he pitched 12.2 inning, or a little over 3 innings a pop, or a little over nine outs. In 1960 Roy Face was in four games, pitching 10.1 innings, or almost eight outs a turn. A caveat here is that this is the only World Series appearance for either man and might not hold had there been other appearances.

That isn’t true for Rollie Fingers. He makes playoffs in 1972 through 1975 and makes the World Series in the middle three years (winning all three). So how’s he do? Glad you asked. In the ALCS he pitched in 11 total games going 19.2 inning, or about 5.3 outs a game. His number varies a lot from 12 outs a game in 1975 (he pitched in one game) to a low of just over three out a game in 1972 (2 games and 2.1 innings pitched). In the World Series he pitched in 16 total games over 33.1 innings. That means he got a little more than six out per appearance. Fingers made one other playoff appearance, in 1981 with the Brewers (they lost in the ALCS). This time he threw 4.2 innings over 3 games or about four and a half outs per game.

Gosse Gossage? Again, glad you asked. In five pre-World Series playoffs he pitched 17.2 innings over 11 games, or just under five outs a games (including one series where he pitched only a third of an inning). In three World Series’ he pitched 13.2 innings over 8 games, or just over 5 outs a game.

So, TBS announcers, it can be done. Quality relievers can get four outs a game in the playoffs. I realize that they’ve changed the way relievers work, having gone from the “fireman” to the “closer”, but that’s a change in philosophy, not in capability. If your closer is that good, he’s just got to be able to get four outs. Maybe Motte isn’t that good, but I got the impression that the announcers were saying it about “closers” in general and not being specific to Motte. If a manager is concerned his “closer” can’t get four outs, maybe he should think about going back to the “fireman.”