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Cy Zambrano

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

Carlos Zambrano continued his Cy Young quality season with his 8th win, lowering his ERA to 2.25. Despite feeling woozy with a headache before the game, Zambrano pitched six and two thirds innings, allowing 1 (earned) run on 5 hits, 4 walks, and 8 punchouts. The Cubs won their second straight game, 8th out of 9 played, and 12th of their last 17. The Cubs pitchers have allowed only 2.43 runs per game in the last week.

The Cy Young Contenders: To begin, I eliminated all pitchers with less than 7 wins. Next, I eliminated all pitchers with an ERA above 3.5, and then lowered the bar to 3.1 when there was a clear gap between pitchers with a 3.4ish ERA and those with a 3.0+ ERA. These two criteria left me with 7 pitchers who I would consider voting for as Cy Young right now.

Pitcher Record ERA WHIP K/9 IP/Start
Tom Glavine 7-3 2.07 .961 4.50 6.94
Carlos Zambrano 8-2 2.25 1.125 8.34 7.38
Jason Schmidt 9-2 2.26 .943 10.16 7.6
Carl Pavano 7-2 2.81 1.02 5.25 7.38
Roger Clemens 9-2 2.84 1.24 9.90 6.3
Randy Johnson 9-5 3.05 .899 10.16 6.67
Matt Clement 7-5 3.07 1.11 9.46 6.67

All of these pitchers are having excellent seasons, but I am going to eliminate Clement because he has the weakest won-loss record and ERA in the group. Next, I am eliminating the Big Unit because Johnson is the only pitcher remaining with a 3+ ERA and has 5 losses. Then, I would vote Pavano off Cy Young's island because he has a significantly weaker ERA than Glavine, Zambrano, and Schmidt, as well as only 7 wins.

Now, I am down to my top four pitchers, Glavine, Zambrano, Schmidt, and Clemens. Purely by the numbers, I would eliminate Clemens next because of his higher ERA, and shorter average start. By definition, the Cy Young winner should be the most dominant pitcher in his league, and the Rocket has been leaving games nearly a full inning sooner than the other three guys left on the island.

The final three, Glavine, Zambrano, and Schmidt not suprisingly have the three best ERA's. While I don't think a pitcher's won loss record is the best determinant of his record, I will eliminate Glavine next, partially because he has the fewest wins, but mainly because his k/9 ratio is significantly less than Zambrano and Schmidt's. A pitcher's k/9 ratio is one of the better statistics for gauging a pitcher's dominance.

Next, as much as I don't want to, I would eliminate Zambrano and crown Schmidt as winner of thecubdom.com's "Cy Young through June 20th" award. Schmidt averages an extra out per start more than Zambrano, and has a better k/9 ratio. His ERA is .01 point higher than Carlos, and he has an extra win.

All of this is to say, I believe Zambrano is the second best pitcher in the National League right now, and I would select him to start a crucial game before any other pitcher but Schmidt.

Similarly, I believe Matt Clement is probably the seventh best pitcher in the NL right now, which isn't bad considering he was considered the Cubs #5 starter at the beginning of this season.

i don't agree, byron.
i think that a pitcher's history in baseball plants a clear psychological advantage in his camp when he has a career worth of dominance behind him and is not showing signs of slowing down. clemens gets the cy if it were given tonight.

Au Contraire Mon Petit Frere...

The Cy Young Award is for the best pitcher this season. Picking the Cy on best career numbers would eliminate guys who have break through years, what about the Pat Hentgen's of the world? If its about psychological advantage, Pat Hentgen never would win the award, it would always go to some 6-10 mangy looking left hander who seems to throw the ball from 45 feet away.

I agree with Schmidt as the "summersolsticyyoung" award. After watching his start a couple of days ago, I was thinking to myself about how he just piles up victories and rarely gets himself in trouble during a game. Much like 2000/2001 Curt Schilling, but with slightly less gaudy numbers (especially K/BB ratio which Curt had humming at around 20 for a spell in 2001). But their delivery is very similar as well, delivering that over the top 97 mph fastball that is too tough to hit and impossible to lay off.

I really wish Kerry Wood had that sort of economical motion with a reliable heater that he can't get under and have end up somewhere over the umpires helmet. He looked like he had found a happy medium in his starts this year, striking out a couple of batters fewer per 9 (not done the research) and walking fewer batters. Wood does share Schmidt and Schilling's elbow scars though....

that should read: "BUT walking fewer batters." GO CUBS.

I was just thinking about this the other day, and I too came up with Jason Schmidt as the current front-runner.

But Carlos is definitely in the hunt. Go Z !!!

Posted by Byron at June 20, 2004 8:27 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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