Felix Hernandez might as well have told the rest of the Mariners to stay at home when he pitched. With the lowest amount of run support in the big leagues and the fewest number of wins (13) of any top pitching-award contender, he didn't have the normal bona fides of a classic Cy Young winner. But he still won. It seems his 2.27 earned-run average, 232 strikeouts and the fact that despite his team's best efforts, he remained one of the most feared hurlers in baseball, gave him a landslide of votes for the American League Cy Young Award. Now, if only he could trade it for a ring.
The announcement was made earlier today after Hernandez received 21 of the 28 first-place votes and 167 ballot points from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. A teary-eyed Hernandez told ESPN:
"This confirms the Cy Young is an award not only for the pitcher with the most wins but the most dominant."
King Felix's stats were impressive. Besides the 2.27 ERA and 232 Ks, he pitched 249 2/3 innings, while allowing the fewest hits per nine innings (a little under seven), and keeping opposing teams' batting averages at .212.
He's now the second Seattle pitcher to win the Cy Young after Randy Johnson did it in 1995.
For fans, news of the win might be likened to receiving a brand-new, top-grade set of shower sandals that they can wear during the prison sentence that is being a Mariners fan (hat tip to Mike Seely for the analogy).
If Felix could bat as well as he pitches, the team would be in a lot better shape.