This Cy Young race seemed to sum up Felix Hernandez’s season perfectly. He pitches a gem, only to be left with a loss or no decision.
Well Wednesday, it happened again. Felix would have become just the sixth pitcher to win multiple Cy Young awards. Instead, he goes home empty handed. Again. Losing the Cy Young award to Corey Kluber by ten points.
All year long baseball writers and common fans across the country were talking about how good Felix was on the mound. They were saying that he was second in baseball to Kershaw and his change-up was the nastiest pitch in baseball. Kluber seemed to just burst on to the scene almost from out of nowhere.
2.44 ERA vs. 2.14 ERA. 1.09 WHIP vs. 0.92 WHIP.
Corey Kluber vs. Felix Hernandez. I know these aren’t the only stats, but these two alone are a pretty good indication. Hernandez turned in the lowest AL ERA since 2000 when Pedro Martinez turned in a 1.74 ERA which may not be touched in the AL for a very long time.
If someone came up to you and asked you who you would rather have as an ace of your favorite team, 9 times out of 10 you would get the answer of Felix Hernandez. His presence on the mound could be second to only Clayton Kershaw who ran away with the NL Cy Young.
Felix only had 15 wins on the season compared to Kluber’s 18. If Hernandez played on almost any other team in baseball, he would have an equal amount of wins to Kluber, if not more. The Mariners are obviously not known for their offense, and Felix has lost many games where he has gotten a no decision after pitching his ass off for 7 innings.
The one stat that sticks out to me the most is Felix pitching 7 innings or more and giving up 2 runs or less. He did this 16 straight starts for the first time in over 100 years. This doesn’t just show he dominated every now and then, this shows that every time it was his turn in the rotation, he dominated batters. He is in the same company as Tom Seaver, Gaylord Perry, and Randy Johnson. These are some of the all time great pitchers in baseball.
While Felix did have one bad start at the very end of the season against the Blue Jays, his September stats were some of the best of his career. Kluber posted a 2.09 ERA and a .236 OBAA in the final month of the season while Hernandez bested Kluber with a 1.66 ERA and a .185 OBAA. To all of those people who say Felix didn’t finish well, they better check their facts.
When you compare this season for Felix and 2010 when he won the award, he out pitched his 2010 performance. He had a better ERA, WHIP, BAA, and more IP in 2014.
It is truly an upset when Kluber even says, “I wasn’t expecting it. I definitely thought Felix was going to win. He had such a great year. I guess I just assumed that who he is and how good of a year he had, and all that kind of stuff, would get him more votes.”
Well Corey, you were wrong. You, in fact, are the 2014 Cy Young award winner.
But, Felix is one of those people who builds on this type of stuff.
“It’s a little disappointing, but it just gives me more motivation to work harder and harder and be ready for next year,” Hernandez said in a press conference at Safeco Field.
This has been Felix his whole career. He deserves to win. He’s gone through so much losing in Seattle that he just deserves better. Felix put in one of the best years of his career, and it’s just another runner up.
The raw stats like ERA and WHIP go with Hernandez, while the metric stats like FIP and WAR go with Kluber. This vote seems to be showing the changes in baseball nowadays. A few years ago, these sabermetric stats weren’t as prominent and Felix might have had this locked up just with ERA and WHIP alone. But, we are in a new era of baseball which sabermetrics seem to rule.
If the vote came down to one Felix Hernandez start against Toronto in late September that will be a shame because that didn’t show the real dominance he had for almost all of the season.
Now, I’m not saying that Corey Kluber doesn’t deserve this award, because he deserves it just as much as the next guy. For Felix to be the favorite for almost all of the season, to fall just 10 points short, is truly unfortunate. The road definitely doesn’t end here; it only fuels him for years upcoming.
“But you know what? My goal is to win the whole thing with this team right here, the Seattle Mariners.”