Mariners' Felix Hernandez wins AL Cy Young Award
In a victory for those who look beyond victories to determine the worth of a pitcher, Felix Hernandez of the last-place Seattle Mariners won the American League Cy Young Award on Thursday.
Hernandez, who needed a victory in his final start to finish with a winning record, went 13-12 with a league-leading 2.27 earned-run average.
David Price of the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays, who finished tied for second in the league in victories, finished second in the voting. Price went 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA.
CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees, who finished second, went 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA, leading the league in victories but ranking sixth in ERA.
Hernandez received 21 first-place votes, with Price getting four and Sabathia three. Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox finished fourth in the voting, with Jered Weaver of the Angels fifth.
Hernandez becomes the first starting pitcher to win a Cy Young award with fewer than 15 victories, and the first starting pitcher to win with a record fewer than eight games over .500 (in a non-strike season). Tim Lincecum of the San Francisco Giants went 15-7 to win the National League Cy Young award last year; Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals went 16-8 to win the AL award.
Hernandez led the league in innings pitched, was one shy of Weaver in strikeouts and held opponents to a league-low .212 batting average and .585 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage). In 25 of his 34 starts, he gave up two or fewer earned runs.
-- Bill Shaikin
Photo: Felix Hernandez. Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images.