Hangover 2: The CYA Second Place finishers

by Bill Chuck on November 15, 2012

While I have no complaint with the results of the Cy Young Award voting, I can’t help but wonder last year’s winners were unfairly punished by their success and victory last season.

While R.A. Dickey still would have beaten the 2011 NL CYA winner Clayton Kershaw, but had Kershaw not won last year I venture to guess that he would have gotten more than two first place votes this season.

Take a look at Kershaw’s 2011 and 2012 seasons

Year W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2011 21 5 .808 2.28 33 5 2 233.1 174 66 59 15 54 248 0.977
2012 14 9 .609 2.53 33 2 2 227.2 170 70 64 16 63 229 1.023
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/15/2012.

In 2012, Kershaw finished first in WAR and WHIP, and second in strikeouts and innings pitched. Dickey is a great story and worthy winner, Kershaw suffered in the voting from 2011 success.

And, I think it may be more significant in the American League where I think Verlander’s spectacular 2011 season produced a 2012 hangover in the voting that was decided by a mere four votes, the closest since the great Mike Cuellar/Denny McLain tie of 1969.

Take a look at Verlander’s 2011 and 2012 seasons

Year W L W-L% ERA GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB IBB SO WHIP
2011 24 5 .828 2.40 34 4 2 251.0 174 73 67 24 57 0 250 0.920
2012 17 8 .680 2.64 33 6 1 238.1 192 81 70 19 60 2 239 1.057
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/15/2012.

Verlander led all pitchers with a 7.6 WAR and was first in strikeouts, IP, and complete games, and second in WHIP and ERA.

  • Price had 14 first place votes, 13 second place, and one third place for a 153 total.
  • Verlander had 13 first place votes, 13 second place, and two third place for a 149 total.
  • Jered Weaver had 0 first place votes, two second place, and 14 third place for a 70 total.

Just to appreciate Verlander and Kershaw’s last two seasons, take a look at their cumulative numbers

Player W GS CG SHO L W-L% IP H R ER BB SO ERA HBP BK BA
Justin Verlander 41 67 10 3 13 .759 489.1 366 154 137 117 489 2.52 8 3 .205
Clayton Kershaw 35 66 7 4 14 .714 461.0 344 136 123 117 477 2.40 8 3 .208
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/15/2012.

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