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Cy Young Robbery

Matt Imbrogno

January 2008


            Hello, again. Last month I wrote a piece about how Matt Holliday was robbed of the National League Most Valuable Player Award. For this piece, I will show that C.C. Sabathia, with help from Josh Beckett, robbed Johan Santana of the Cy Young Award. Johan won the award in 2004 and 2006, and should've won in 2005 and this past season, 2007. However, the moronic voters were too focused on win/loss records to give the award to the man with the best numbers.


            The stats I will be using to analyze these three pitchers are: W/L, ERA, SO, BB, IP, WHIP, K/9, K/BB, BB/9, H/9, men on per nine (H/9 + BB/9), and BA, OBP, SLG, and OPS against. I will also show how the superior run support that Beckett and Sabathia received led to better records which, sadly, won Sabathia the award and Beckett the second place voting.


First, I'll do Santana versus Beckett:


Josh Beckett:

20-7, 3.27 ERA, 194 SO, 40 BB, 189 H, 200.7 IP, 1.41 WHIP, 8.69 K/9, 4.85 K/BB, 1.79 BB/9, 8.45 H/9, 10.24 men on/9, .238/.305/.389/.694.


Johan Santana:

15-13, 3.33 ERA, 235 SO, 52 BB, 183 H, 219 IP, 1.073 WHIP, 9.65 K/9, 4.51 K/BB, 2.1 BB/9, 7.54 H/9, 9.64 men on/9, .221/.278/.366/.644.


Time to break it down, folks. Johan wins 12-5. Beckett beats him in W/L record, but let's take a closer look at that. Using the system provided by, Josh Beckett received 6.42 runs of support per game. That's 1.8 more runs than Santana, who got 4.44 runs per. That's a very large disparity. Beckett has less walks, but that's also in less innings than Santana. Johan Santana's WHIP counters this difference, as it is lower than Beckett's. While one could say that Santana obviously has more strikeouts than Beckett because of more innings pitched, it could be easily countered; Johan strikes out more men per nine than Beckett, and using stats per nine "neutralizes" counting stats. Johan was obviously harder to hit this season, which one can see when looking at his far superior hitting stats against. He also let on fewer men per nine than Boston's ace.


So, Beckett wins W/L, ERA, BB, K/BB, and BB/9. Those are good stat categories in which to have an advantage, but Santana has even more. He wins in: SO, H, IP, WHIP, K/9, H/9, men on/9, AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS against. Who really had the better season?


Now I'll move on to Johan versus the Cy Young winner, C.C. Sabathia:




C.C. Sabathia:

19-7, 3.21 ERA, 209 SO, 37 BB, 238 H, 241 IP, 1.141 WHP, 7.8 K/9, 5.6 K/BB, 1.38 BB/9, 8.8 H/9, 10.18 men on base per nine, .259/.292/.392/.684.


Johan Santana:

15-13, 3.33 ERA, 235 SO, 52 BB, 219 IP, 1.073 WHIP, 9.65 K/9, 4.51 K/BB, 2.1 BB/9, 7.54 H/9, 9.64 men on/9, .221/.278/.366/.644.


            Johan wins 10-7. He again loses W/L record, but again, his opponent received much more run support-the Indians scored an average of 5.10 for C.C. Sabathia had a crazy low walk total, considering how many innings he pitched. However, Johan counters it by having a better WHIP, and a lower OBP against. Sabathia gave up a lot of hits, but it was in more innings than Johan so it makes it okay, right? No, it doesn't. Johan gave fewer hits per nine, had a lower BA against, and let fewer on per nine.


            Sabathia wins W/L, ERA, BB, IP, K/BB, and BB/9. Johan wins SO (a lot more in a lot less innings), WHIP, K/9, H/9, men on per nine, and the hitting against stats. Again, who had the better year? It's gotta be Johan.


            Johan Santana is the best pitcher in baseball. He has been every year since 2004. He should've won the Cy Young award in 2005 and should've won it last year. His 2007 was better than runner up Josh Beckett's year AND award winner C.C. Sabathia year. It is a shame that the voters are hung up on such a silly statistic like W/L record. It's the same kind of close-minded voting that is keeping Bert Blyleven out of the Hall of Fame.


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