It's time for the SBN Pitcher of the Year. This time a Giants pitcher gets votes! No thanks to me ...
|R.A. Dickey||New York Mets||13||11||6||2||157|
|Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers||11||12||8||2||1||154|
|Gio Gonzalez||Washington Nationals||9||7||7||6||5||129|
|Johnny Cueto||Cincinnati Reds||2||4||7||8||6||73|
|Cliff Lee||Philadelphia Phillies||5||4||3||26|
|Matt Cain||San Francisco Giants||1||5||4||17|
|Cole Hamels||Philadelphia Phillies||1||3||5||15|
|Craig Kimbrel||Atlanta Braves||1||2||6||13|
|Wade Miley||Arizona Diamondbacks||3||1||7|
|Kris Medlen||Atlanta Braves||3||3|
|Lance Lynn||St. Louis Cardinals||1||1|
lol lance lynn
I had a vote. "Bryan Murphy" had a vote. Here's how we voted:
Grant: 1. R.A. Dickey, 2. Johnny Cueto, 3. Clayton Kershaw, 4. Gio Gonzalez, 5. Craig Kimbrel
Bryan: 1. Clayton Kershaw, 2. R.A. Dickey, 3. Johnny Cueto, 4. Matt Cain, 5. Cliff Lee
I probably should have asked Bryan why he picked like he did, but I didn't think of it. It's probably because he loves the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw and he wants to marry Clayton Kershaw and Bryan Murphy and Clayton Kershaw sitting in a tree. He probably voted for Cliff Lee because he just broke up with wins, and he's being really nasty about it, trying to prove a point.
If I knew that everyone else was voting for Matt Cain, I would have too! But here was my reasoning:
Dickey in the top spot by a wafer-thin margin. I struggled with Dickey/Kershaw/Cueto for a while, but I think I eventually decided to penalize Kershaw more than the average bear because of the N.L. West. He pitched a game at Coors and two in Arizona, but the bulk of his starts came in Dodger Stadium, AT&T, or Petco. He also had 19 starts at home, and 14 on the road, and while single-season splits aren't that helpful for predicting future performance, they'll do okay when evaluating who should win a made-up Internet trophy. Cueto had the lead in ERA+, and I was already giving him a big mental adjustment because of his home park, so I voted for him second.
The complete games and shutouts put Dickey over the top, just barely. He led the league in strikeouts and innings pitched, but just barely. Did I give him bonus points because he throws the greatest pitch in the game, has the best pitch-face, and he's probably read Watchmen more than once? Probably, but that wasn't the conscious reason.
Gonzalez needed to be there somewhere, so I snuck him in fourth. That brings up Craig Kimbrel, who took Matt Cain's vote. I'm kind of regretting that, just a tidge. I know all of the stats; I don't have to look up WAR to see who has the edge, as one's a starter and one's a reliever. Cain pitched over 150 more innings than Kimbrel, so he kind of has to be more valuable.
But Kimbrel had one of the most amazing relief seasons of all-time -- of all-time! It was in a specifically defined role that by definition has a limit as to how much value it will offer, but there's no other way to reward it. Sometimes I light some tea candles, put on some Al Green, and stare at his game log for September. There's no other place to give Kimbrel a vote. Just felt that it should be recognized somewhere.