Led Zeppelin was mixing at Electric Lady Studios when we bullshazted our way in. Should I get a writing credit for my impact on “Gallows Pole”?
Has any starting pitcher in the National League been even remotely as dominating as Craig Kimbrel or Aroldis Chapman? That answer, beyond dispute, is no. And this hasn’t been just routine domination. This has been historic levels of domination—particularly in the case of Kimbrel, who has had possibly the most dominant, overpowering season any NL closer has ever had.
So why should any voters feel compelled to vote for a starter in a season like this, just because there are 20 years of newfound tradition that say they should? I ran that question past one longtime dominating starter—ESPN’s own Curt Schilling—and he laughed at the idea that starters “deserve” to be considered first.
“I have ZERO bias one way or the other,” Schilling wrote, via the miracle of email. “Cy Young is for the BEST pitcher, not most valuable or anything else. When anyone in this game does something that hasn’t been done in 112 years [as Kimbrel has], it bears noticing. Relievers, in my opinion, HAVE to have insanely dominant seasons given that they throw 150+ fewer innings than a starter. [But] ‘tradition’ is something I feel we need to move farther and farther from.”
...Ready for Kimbrel’s historic credentials? Fasten your seat belts. (Note: To rank Kimbrel’s place in history, I compared him only to pitchers—starters or relievers—who worked at least 50 innings in a season.)
Strikeouts: 105 in 57 1/3 IP, the best strikeout ratio ever (16.5/9 IP)
Opponent AVG.: .128, the lowest against any pitcher since 1900
Opponent OPS: .368, the lowest against any pitcher in the expansion era
WHIP: 0.68, best by any National League reliever since 1900
Percentage of hitters struck out: 49.5 pct., best in live-ball era
Strikeout-to-hit ratio: 105 whiffs, 25 hits (4.2), best of all time
Posted: September 22, 2012 at 10:28 AM | 28 comment(s)
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