Can Felix still win the Cy Young Award?

Sep 14, 2012, 12:03 PM


By Gary Hill

Felix Hernandez steamed into September as a clear frontrunner for the 2012 Cy Young Award. He had only given up 5 runs in the month of August and his season ERA had plummeted to 2.43. His last two starts have been a different story. Felix has given up 11 earned runs in his last 8 2/3 innings pitched. To put his recent two game struggles in perspective, he only yielded 11 earned runs from July 8th to August 27th in 10 full starts. His ERA has jumped half a run to 2.92. However, he has not been the only AL elite pitcher to struggle in September. With just a handful of starts left in the season where does Felix stand in the Cy Young competition?

4. Jared Weaver- LAA- 17-4 2.74 ERA

Weaver has been sensational this year. He is 2nd in the AL in ERA (2.74), 1st in WHIP (1.00) and 1st in batting average against (.212). He has a no-hitter to his credit and has not given up a run in nine starts this year. The problem with Weaver’s candidacy is that he is running a hefty inning deficit. He missed nearly all of June and parts of September. He has thrown 167 1/3 innings this year which is 22nd in the AL. His inning tally is 43 behind Justin Verlander and trails Felix Hernandez by 45 1/3. Weaver is averaging 6.4 innings a start which puts him over 6.5 average starts away from the leaders.

3. David Price- TB- 17-5 2.54 ERA

Price is the AL ERA leader in the AL by a significant margin- 2.54. He is 5th in Ks, WHIP and Batting Average Against. He has thrown 180 2/3 innings which is 7th in the AL. However, he is rapidly losing ground in innings pitched because he has not thrown since September 2nd.

2. Felix Hernandez- SEA- 13-8 2.92 ERA

Despite the recent struggles Felix is still 5th in the AL in ERA, 3rd in K’s, 4th in WHIP, and 1st in innings pitched. He has five shutouts including a perfect game this year.

1. Justin Verlander- DET- 13-8 2.91 ERA

Verlander has struggled in the month of September as well (1-1 4.50 ERA). However, his season numbers are sensational with the 4th best ERA, 2nd in K’s, 2nd in Batting Average Against, 2nd in WHIP, and 2nd in innings pitched. He leads the league with six complete games.

There is another helpful way to analyze the three pitchers. Here is what an average start for each pitcher looks like this year when you boil down their numbers:

Weaver- 6.4 IP 5 H 2.1 ER 1.5 BB 5 K

Price- 6.6 IP 5.5 H 1.8 R 2 BB 6.4 K

Felix- 7 IP 6.2 H 2.3 R 1.6 BB 6.6 K

Verlander- 7.2 IP 5.8 H 2.3 R 1.8 BB 7.3 K

The race is tight and three of the competitors pitch for teams desperately trying to pry their way into a postseason birth. Any of the four competitors have a chance to win it with a strong start, but Weaver and Price will have a difficult time closing the inning gap.

High Heat

If the M’s come back from two games out with three games to go, they wouldn’t be the fi...
Gary Hill

Is all hope lost for Mariners? It wasn’t for the 1999 New York Mets

The Mariners may be two games out of the playoffs with three games to go, but a comeback isn't completely unprecedented.
8 years ago
James Paxton was called up earlier Wednesday to start in place of the injured Felix Hernandez. (AP)...
Gary Hill

Mariners looking at the most important day of their season

The Mariners are 1.5 games out of the second wild-card heading into their series opener with Toronto. Time is running out to make up ground, and today might be their best chance to do so.
8 years ago
Conor Gillaspie’s bases-clearing triple helped the M’s gain some precious ground on Kan...
Gary Hill

White Sox factoring heavily into Mariners’ postseason chances

If the Mariners are going to surpass Kansas City for the second wild-card spot, they could use some help from the White Sox, who play the Royals five more times.
8 years ago
Mariners left-hander James Paxton owns a miniscule 1.83 ERA in 39.1 innings this season. (AP)...
Gary Hill

Paxton, Walker can help Mariners’ suddenly struggling rotation

The Mariners' starting rotation has improved significantly from last season, but with that group struggling of late, Seattle could use a boost from James Paxton and Taijuan Walker down the stretch.
8 years ago
The Mariners swept the Red Sox in Boston over the weekend for the first time in franchise history. ...
Gary Hill

Looking back on the Mariners’ epic sweep in Boston

The Mariners swept aside the Red Sox at Fenway Park for the first time in club history over the weekend thanks to an epic comeback on Friday night and a bare-knuckle slugfest on Sunday.
8 years ago
With another gem Tuesday against the Phillies, Hisashi Iwakuma is putting together one of the best ...
Gary Hill

No. 2 starter? Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma is more like another ace

With another gem in the Mariners' 5-2 win over Philadelphia, Hisashi Iwakuma continues to be one of the best -- and most underrated -- pitchers in baseball.
8 years ago
Can Felix still win the Cy Young Award?