A play by play announcer on television-not one associated with the Mariners-was lobbying Felix Hernandez for the Cy Young award. He cited his earned run average which is 2.30 and all those esoteric sabermetric numbers that indciate a pitchers value and performance.
Hernandez finished second to Zack Greinke of Kansas City last season. Greinke was 16-8 with a 2.16 earned run average on a team that was 65-97, so there is precedent for the award going to a pitcher on a bad team.
Hernandez is on a streak, having pitched scoreless ball for 16.2 innings and allowing one earned run since August 5 which covers seven starts and 43 innings.
Pretty impressive is an understatement. That is domination. But he is still 11-10 due to lack of run support. While the Mariner offense has been like stagnant air this season, when Hernandez pitches it is gone with the wind. If he gives up one or two runs, he has an excellent chance to lose.
Even if he continues to dominate during his five or six remaining starts it will be difficult to unseat C.C. Sabathia of the Yankees who is 19-5 with a 3.02 earned run average and has the upper hand on both Felix and Clay Buchholz of Boston who is 15-6 with a 2.25 earned run average.
While sabermetric numbers continue to gain more credence and helped Greinke win last year, there were no twenty game winners in 2009. Twenty wins is a magic number and with Sabathia poised to win twenty two to twenty four games with that powerhouse team, Felix will once again take a back seat in the Cy young race.