I don’t really follow the American League enough to make any sort of judgement as to who deserves the Cy Young there, but in the National League, to me, it’s a no brainer: Randy Johnson. Remember him?
MLB.com just posted an article about how Johnson has been overlooked for the Cy Young, and it highlighted some of the points that have been floating around in my head the past few days. He leads baseball in ERA, strikeouts, and opponent’s batting average. He owns the single best pitching performance of the year, his perfect game against the Atlanta Braves, which he earned earlier in the year. Put Randy on the Cardinals or the Giants or any other team with some decent run production, and he’s a 20-plus game winner this year. He leads the majors in so-called “tough losses” — games in which he’s pitched a quality start and got tacked with the loss — in fact, he’s been stuck with ten of them. Turn just half of his tough losses into wins, and he leads the league in wins.
All the broadcasters I’ve heard over the past several weeks have tossed around names like Clemens, Schmidt, and Pavano with reckless abandon, but not one of them has mentioned Randy; I think that’s just a shame. Wins are such an overrated statistic, and the fact that Johnson can have such a phenomenal season but come up short in the win column just highlights that fact.