National League Cy Young Award Lunacy

I was watching ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” last night, featuring the expert opinions of former major leaguers Eduardo Perez and Dallas Braden.

Perez was a journeyman first baseman-third baseman and sometimes outfielder who stuck around the majors for 13 seasons, despite a career average of .247. Braden pitched in the majors for parts of five seasons, all with Oakland, compiling a 26-36 won-lost record, but somehow, incredibly, one of those wins, in 2011, was a perfect game. Both fellows have pleasant personalities and occasionally add a salient comment to the show.

Last night, however, they thoroughly exposed themselves as being either so uninformed as to be laughable, or to be more concerned with engendering controversy (or should that be ridicule?) than providing insight and actual "expert" opinion.
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I’ve written a fair amount about Clayton Kershaw, and while I have made clear my opinion that it is incorrect to compare him to Sandy Koufax, it is absolutely beyond discussion that he is by a wide margin the best pitcher in baseball today. Yet, these two experts, when asked as of today, who would best deserve the National League Cy Young Award, they each named someone OTHER than Kershaw, and they each had the audacity to say that the stats backed them up.

Braden named the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright, and said that part of the reason was his league-leading 12 wins. Well, Mr. Braden, despite more than a month on the disabled list, Kershaw is only one win short of that total. Perez named Johnny Cueto as most deserving the award,
saying that he was the dominant starter in the league, and that his stats also supported that.

Well, just take a look at the stats:

Clayton Kershaw
Adam Wainwright
Johnny Cueto
Innings 96.1138137.2

I guess they just didn’t see that Kershaw has the lowest ERA, lowest WHIP, best strikeout-per-inning and strikeout-to-walk ratios, and the best won-lost percentage of any of the three, and 11 wins in 3/4 of the number of starts that the other two have made.

There is also that no-hitter and the 41 consecutive scoreless inning streak. Guess that stuff doesn’t matter. But, hey, if Perez and Braden say Wainwright or Cueto, who’s to argue with their expert opinions?

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