Harper takes a case - and the payoff is confusion.
After two days of polling the voters who will decide the 2012 NL Cy Young Award, I can draw two conclusions — one should give R.A. Dickey encouragement; the other could give him extra incentive for his final four starts of the season.
Most significantly, the 12 voters I spoke to — out of 32 in all — were unanimous in saying the race is too close to call with nearly three weeks to go, and too close to even have a clear-cut favorite among four primary candidates: Dickey, Johnny Cueto, Gio Gonzalez and Clayton Kershaw.
...That’s how I happen to have an NL Cy Young vote this year, and like many of the voters I polled, I’m agonizing over it because you can truly make a solid case for any of the top candidates — Dickey, Gonzalez, Cueto and Kershaw. And there is little to separate any one of them from the others.
In addition, Matt Cain and Kyle Lohse are close enough that they could make a dramatic move with outstanding finishes. Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel are having spectacular seasons as closers, meriting consideration as well.
...The reasons are obvious: Statistics such as earned-run average, innings pitched, walks and hits per inning (WHIP), and strikeout-to-walk ratio all offer a truer evaluation of a pitcher’s performance.
Not that wins are meaningless. But many of the voters said they look at wins as something of a tie-breaker if it’s too close to call. In this case, Gonzalez leads with 19 wins, to 18 for Dickey and 17 for Cueto, but the Nationals lefthander has significantly fewer innings pitched, which some voters view as a key stat.
Posted: September 14, 2012 at 05:41 AM | 74 comment(s)
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