I don’t have an issue with Max Scherzer winning the NL Cy Young. But I do have a beef with the writers that gave the two Chicago Cubs on the ballot very little respect.
When Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon didn’t win the Manager of the Year Award, it’s what I fully expected. Joe Maddon had the expectation of winning, and he did just that. But the NL Cy Young vote has me and many other Chicago bloggers less than happy with the results. Not because Max Scherzer won, necessarily. But because Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks didn’t get the respect they deserved.
Scherzer won the award with 192 points. He received 25 first place votes out of 30 ballots and was the only pitcher named on every ballot. Lester finished second with 102 points. He received one first-place vote, but 16 second-place votes. And then there’s Hendricks. Your NL ERA winner. He garnered two first-place votes and finished with 85 points. In case you’re wondering, the two were left off of as many ballots as they received first-place votes. How is that even possible?
When the IBWAA (which I am a member) released its results, they were very similar. The top three was the same, and the margin of victory over Lester was similar as well (twice as many points). The gap between Lester and Hendricks was much smaller (454 to 442). I’ll admit, I had Scherzer fourth on my ballot. I had Lester, Hendricks, and Johnny Cueto. But I’ve matched up with the rest of the winners with my picks thus far.
Scherzer was deserving–sort of
I get that Scherzer won. He led the league in wins (20) and strikeouts (284). But I also find it ironic that wins aren’t given as much love now thanks to metrics, yet he wins the Cy Young in part because of that? I mean, Lester had 19 wins. A better ERA than Scherzer (2.44 to 2.96). In the end, they liked Scherzer. Maybe his league-leading 31 home runs allowed helped sway the voters?
I say that I’m okay with his win, but I’m not really sure that I am. Lester and Hendricks had fantastic seasons. Lester did it even with an inability to hold runners. Hendricks did it without having a big fastball. Yet these two finished 1-2 in ERA and led the Cubs to a 103 win season.
To be honest, though, the only the hardware the Cubs care about is the Commissioner’s Trophy and the World Series rings they’ll be getting next season. Sure, it would be nice to see Kris Bryant win the MVP in his second season. I’d like to see it more so because the last few years I’ve heard how Bryce Harper was the “face of baseball”. Great player, don’t get me wrong. But maybe the game of baseball needs a new face. Enter Bryant, stage right.