Posted August 23, 2013

Kershaw making strong case for NL MVP as well as Cy Young

Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw is all but certain to win his second Cy Young award in the past three years. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Clayton Kershaw didn’t flash his most dominant form, but he nonetheless tossed eight shutout innings against the Marlins in the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory in Miami. It was the second start in a row and third out of the last five in which Kershaw put up eight zeroes and departed in favor of a reliever. Even without sticking around to finish the job, he lowered his MLB-leading ERA to 1.72, and it’s now time to seriously consider him not just for the National League Cy Young award, on which he has a stranglehold, but for the league’s MVP honor as well.

Kershaw spent the first three months of the season carving out a spot in the Cy Young race alongside Adam Wainwright and Matt Harvey. He lost out to Harvey for the honor of starting the All-Star Game thanks more to a combination of venue, buzz and antiquated accounting than to performance. Since then, he has distanced himself from the field:

Pitcher 1st Half IP W-L ERA K/9   2nd Half IP W-L ERA  K/9
Matt Harvey 117 7-1 2.00 10.2 54 2/3 2-3 2.80 9.1
Clayton Kershaw 121 1/3 6-5 2.08 8.8 77 7-2 1.17 8.2
Adam Wainwright 125 2/3 11-5 2.22 8.2 64 3-2 3.52 8.3

Kershaw now leads the majors in ERA, ERA+ (207), innings (198 1/3) and hit rate (5.8 per nine), while also leading the NL in strikeouts (188). Despite receiving a paltry 3.5 runs per game of offensive support — the ninth-lowest rate among NL ERA qualifiers — his 13 wins are within one of the leauge lead, meaning that he could win a second pitching Triple Crown to go along with the one he won in 2011, his previous Cy Young season.

From a modern value standpoint, Kershaw towers over the field; his total of 7.1 Wins Above Replacement (Baseball-Reference.com version) is 1.5 more than Wainwright and 1.6 more than Harvey, the second- and third-ranked pitchers in the NL, and it’s 1.1 more than AL leader Chris Sale. In fact, he’s on pace for 9.1 WAR, a total that would rank 11th since the majors expanded to 28 teams in 1993; he could climb into a three-way tie for ninth with Kevin Appier (1993) and Randy Johnson (1999) at 9.2; leader Roger Clemens (11.9  in 1997) is far out of range.

Perhaps more impressive from a traditional standpoint, Kershaw’s ERA would rank fifth among qualified pitchers since the 1969 expansion and rules changes. As it is, three of the four above him pitched in strike-shortened seasons and compiled innings totals he’ll soon surpass if he hasn’t already:

Rk  Player  Year  Tm  IP  ERA
1 Dwight Gooden 1985 NYM 276 2/3 1.53
2 Greg Maddux 1994 ATL 202 1.56
3 Greg Maddux 1995 ATL 209 2/3 1.63
4 Nolan Ryan 1981 HOU 149 1.69
5 Clayton Kershaw 2013 LAD 198 1/3 1.72
6 Pedro Martinez 2000 BOS 217 1.74
7 Ron Guidry 1978 NYY 273 2/3 1.74
8 Tom Seaver 1971 NYM 286 1/3 1.76
9 Vida Blue 1971 OAK 312 1.82
10 Roger Clemens 2005 HOU 211 1/3 1.87

Once you account for park and league scoring levels via ERA+, Kershaw does drop to 13th since 1969, with Pedro Martinez’s 2000 (291) and 1999 (243) sandwiching those two strike-shortened seasons from Greg Maddux (271 in 1994, 260 in 1995) as the top four.

While some amount of regression on Kershaw’s part could tighten the Cy Young race, Harvey’s looming innings cap and Wainwright’s fairly ordinary second half make a dark horse candidate such as Jose Fernandez (9-5, 2.41 ERA, 9.7 K/9, 4.8 WAR), Patrick Corbin (13-3, 2.45 ERA, 7.8 K/9, 4.5 WAR) or Francisco Liriano (14-5, 2.53 ERA, 9.4 K/9, 3.4 WAR) as likely as those two to present a late challenge, though don’t expect any of them to surpass Kershaw.

The more compelling question is whether Kershaw could win the MVP award as well as the Cy Young, something only 10 other pitchers have done. Keep in mind that the Cy Young wasn’t introduced until 1956, and not until 1967 were separate awards given for each league. While the eternal argument — how can a pitcher who works every four (now five) days or just an inning or two every other day measure up to a regular who plays every game? — has occupied barstool philosophers for decades, WAR makes it considerably easier to compare the values of pitchers and hitters directly, though it’s a stat that has only become popular in recent years and thus wasn’t available to voters in many of the cases below.

Let’s first look at his competition. Kershaw’s pitching-only WAR is better than that of the top three position players: the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen (6.6), the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez (6.4) and the Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt (5.7). If you include Kershaw’s hitting (.156/.217/.250), his total becomes 7.4, which only increases his lead in that stat. McCutchen, who has hit .321/.399/.512 with 17 homers and 26 steals, is by far the top challenger when one considers the potential narratives that could sway a certain segment of voters: he’s the only one of that trio playing for a first-place team, he’s doing so for the one that has had 20 consecutive losing seasons, and his second-half performance thus far (.374/.459/.626 with seven homers) has been off the charts. That said, while the Pirates are in good shape to make the playoffs, a fall out of first place (behind the Cardinals or Reds) in the NL Central could compromise his chances, as could a dropoff from his torrid pace.

If Kershaw does manage to win both, he would join an exclusive club. Here’s a WAR-minded look at the pitchers who have pulled off the MVP/Cy double, in reverse chronological order:

2011: Justin Verlander, Tigers. Like Kershaw, Verlander won the pitching Triple Crown in the AL, notching 24 wins (and just five losses) with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. Thanks to a staggering 251 innings, he finished with 8.4 WAR, tops among all pitchers but second behind position player leader Ben Zobrist (8.8), who was virtually ignored in the MVP voting. MVP runner-up Jacoby Ellsbury and third-place finished Jose Bautista both finished with 8.1 WAR; that neither of those two played for teams that reached the postseason. The fact that Verlander’s Tigers reached the playoffs almost certainly helped his cause.

1992: Dennis Eckersley, A’s. The last of three relievers to pull off the double-award feat, Eckersley pitched in 69 games and threw 80 innings with a 1.91 ERA while saving an MLB-leading 51 games in 54 opportunities for a team that reached the postseason for the fourth time in five years. His performance was worth only 2.9 WAR, but the notion of him as a near-everyday player on a playoff team must have resonated with voters, who gave him the nod over runner-up Kirby Puckett (7.1) and overall WAR leader Roger Clemens (8.9), whose Red Sox finished last in the AL East at 73-89.

1986: Roger Clemens, Red Sox. The first of his seven Cy Young seasons saw Clemens finish seven strikeouts shy of a Triple Crown; meanwhile, he went 24-4 with a 2.48 ERA. His 8.9 WAR didn’t even outdistance Brewers pitcher Teddy Higuera, who racked up a league-leading 9.4 but won “only” 20 games with a 2.78 ERA. Clemens, the ace of the staff for the pennant-winning Red Sox, was a unanimous choice for Cy Young, and beat out Don Mattingly (7.2) for MVP, though Wade Boggs (7.9) and Jesse Barfied (7.6) actually proved slightly more valuable that year.

1984: Willie Hernandez, Tigers. A fireman who threw a whopping 140 1/3 innings over 80 games, Hernandez put up a 1.92 ERA, saved 32 games and won nine. With the Tigers storming to a 35-5 start en route to 104 wins, voters wanted to shine a light on Detroit, and they judged Hernandez more worthy than either teammates Jack Morris (19-11, 3.60 ERA) or Dan Petry (18-8, 3.24 ERA). To be fair, Hernandez’s 4.8 WAR outdistanced both, though it was just sixth among pitchers; Dave Stieb’s 7.9 was first among pitchers and second to Cal Ripken’s 9.9 overall, but both players were ignored in the voting except for token down-ballot support. Kent Hrbek (5.6) was the MVP runner-up, though he didn’t even crack the top 10 in WAR.

1981: Rollie Fingers, Brewers. The strike-shortened season left voters without any of the traditional statistical plateaus or division winners to fall back upon, so they went for the reliever with the microscopic 1.04 ERA on a team that won the AL East’s second-half flag. Fingers did lead the league with 28 saves, and his 4.2 WAR ranked fourth among AL pitchers (Bert Blyleven was first at 5.6). He beat out AL WAR runner-up Rickey Henderson (6.6) in a very close MVP race, with leader Dwight Evans (6.7) third, and he ran away from pitching WAR runner-up Steve McCatty (4.6) in the MVP race.

1971: Vida Blue, A’s. In his first full major league season, Blue went 24-8 while leading the league in shutouts (8) and ERA (1.82) as well as strikeouts per nine (8.7) over 312 innings. Even so, his 9.0 WAR paled in comparison to that of knuckleballer Wilbur Wood’s 11.7 across 334 innings. Blue beat out Oakland teammate Sal Bando (6.4 WAR) in the MVP voting, with league leader Graig Nettles (7.5) getting just a token 10th place vote. Blue also edged Mickey Lolich (8.7 WAR over a staggering 376 innings) in the Cy Young voting.

1968: Denny McLain, Tigers. In the Year of the Pitcher, McLain’s 31 wins were the most since 1916. He led the league with 336 innings and 28 complete games while striking out 280 (which ranked second), and finished with a 1.96 ERA (fourth). McLain’s 7.4 WAR ranked second among pitchers to Luis Tiant’s 8.4, and he was fourth among all players behind Carl Yastrzemski’s 10.5. McLain was nevertheless the unanimous choice for both awards.

1968: Bob Gibson, Cardinals. While McLain was setting a modern standard for victories, Gibson was doing the same for ERA; his 1.12 mark was the lowest since 1914. He went 22-9 while leading the NL with 13 shutouts and 268 strikeouts, and his 11.2 WAR topped all comers. He was a unanimous pick for the Cy Young and beat out batting champ Pete Rose (5.5 WAR) in an MVP vote that was surprisingly close.

1963: Sandy Koufax, Dodgers. Koufax won his first of three pitching Triple Crown with 25 wins, a 1.88 ERA and 306 strikeouts; he also tossed a league-leading 11 shutouts. His 10.7 WAR led all pitchers in either league , and he was a unanimous choice for the one Cy Young awarded. In the MVP voting, he beat out Dick Groat (7.1), with position player and WAR leader Willie Mays (10.6) finishing fifth.

1956: Don Newcombe, Dodgers. The first Cy Young award went to Newcombe, who led the National League with 27 wins and ranked fifth with a 3.06 ERA for the pennant-winning Dodgers. His 4.5 WAR ranked just sixth among pitchers; teammate Sal Maglie, who ranked fifth at 5.0, was the runner-up, while WAR leader Johnny Antonelli (6.4) was snubbed. Newcombe beat out Maglie for MVP, with another Dodger, position player leader Duke Snider (7.6), finishing just 10th.

Koufax and Gibson were the only two of those 10 pitchers to lead all players — not just pitchers — in their league in WAR en route to winning both awards. If things hold up as they are now, Kershaw would be a fitting choice to join them.

59 comments
ZekeHall
ZekeHall

Concerning the fact that he only plays every 5 games...

Kershaw has faced 751 batters, meaning that he has been involved in 751 at-bats. 

In contrast, Miggy has only been up to bat 556 times.

Not sure how I can logically use these stats, but they show that, despite the fact that he's played in 1/5 of the games as Miggy, he has been more involved in the season than a position player.

dinohealth
dinohealth

In the other league, in the AL, Miggy Cabrera just hit his 42d homer, 4 behind Davis, and closing!  He was 8 behind earlier this month!  The biggest story in basebasll this year, Kershaw notwithstanding, is Miggy's quest to become the back-to-back Triple Crown AND MVP winner; first ever as long as baseball has been played!  He has now raised his MLB-leading average to .357 and RBIs to 128!  Will he catch Davis and win the Triple Crown?  The most exciting quest ever! 

gabehart77
gabehart77

Any article discussing NL MVP that doesn't at least mention Yadier Molina is suspect from the get go.

SDCardsFan64
SDCardsFan64

Wainwright has already done something Kershaw hasn't........beaten the Padres. Kershaw is 0-3 with ERAs of 5.06, 3.00 and 6.00 against the lowly Padres. Kershaw also pitches in a division with ONE likely playoff team and three of the most pitcher-friendly parks in the NL. Wonder how that ERA would look pitching in a division with Great American Ballpark, Miller Park, and Wrigley Field. Wainwright also leads Kershaw in one important statistical category....RINGS.

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

Stupid. Not reading this article. Mostly doing my reading by bloggers at SB Nation because SI is such a sensationalist AOL shill. Are there any good articles whose links end with a question mark? The answer to why Kershaw is not the league MVP is simple: Yasiel Puig is on his team. Good day, Jaffy.

dinohealth
dinohealth

Agree, he is out-distancing the competition for Cy Young in the NL.  MVP has a way to go, but, certainly plausible if he keeps up his dominance.  Unlike the AL, where a hobbled Miggy Cabrera is having a season for the ages, and, running away with the MVP, the NL MVP will go down to the wire.  The only question that remains in the AL, is whether or not Cabrera will catch Davis for the home run title, and, an unprecedented, historic, back-to-back MVP AND Triple Crown awards!  I hope Miggy stays relatively healthy, because his quest is probably the story of the last 100 years! 

ngk11
ngk11

Wainwright has been just as good as kershaw. But the MVP in the NL is still without question Yadier Molina. Kershaw for Cy Young makes sense tho

GoBruinsSports
GoBruinsSports

Kershaw's great, but what about Andrew McCutchen? He's hitting .321 on a team that is about to break a twenty-season losing record streak and is almost a lock for the playoffs. I think that's more deserving of a MVP. Besides, Kershaw's really good, but it was Hanley Ramirez and Puig who brought the Dodgers back from the brink, more so than Kershaw at least.

Michael10
Michael10

What a difference a day makes -- Kershaw no longer leads the league in innings pitched and is now two wins behind Adam Wainwright. Wainwright is also within six K's of Kershaw in the same 27 starts; perhaps that Triple Crown will be a bit tougher than expected. 

Wainwright still leads the majors in BB/9 and BB/K, too, and is second only to Harvey in Defense Independent Pitching (a much more reliable stat than ERA). He also leads the majors with five complete games; I'm not sure what the one last night was worth yet in terms of WAR, but it's sure to cut deeply into Kershaw's narrow lead there.

PeterSanders1
PeterSanders1

The author firmly believes that WAR is an objective measure of value, when it is in fact an attempt to balance a player's various accomplishments: it is a tool for assessment, but not an absolute measure.The unreliability of this assessment system can be seen from the fact that there are two or three different WAR systems, and their assessments of the same player are often dramatically different.This never happens with batting average, or other statistics that measure what actually happened.

RegisReynolds
RegisReynolds

How could you write this article and not mention Francisco Liriano once?

MichaelC
MichaelC

I like advanced metrics because it offers a new perspective on "old stats" - but as many have mentioned, it shouldn't be viewed as a replacement or end-all. There are different versions of WAR and it's not an easy computation - it's valuable as it considers relative performance, fielding, etc., but a bit confusing for the average award voter. 

For NL MVP, Kershaw has a strong case and as exceedingly well as he ha pitched during the Dodgers' historic 50-game run (and for the entire season), his case needs to build "momentum" with the voters (as in, ESPN, MLB Network, SI, Yahoo Sports, etc. starts trumpeting his candidacy). The current narrative seems to point to McCutchen (well-deserved) and voters seem to like his overall numbers, the "narrative" (playing on a Pirates team that may break a two-decade-plus playoff drought), and somewhat irrelevant variables like "he's great in the clubhouse" or "he's a great interview" or "he's a true leader" ... these things still resonate with voters.

John NoLastName
John NoLastName

The debate here seems to be more about the usefulness of "advanced" sabre-based statistics than about Kershaw's worthiness for the Cy Young, which is what the article started out to be about. So ok, I'll continue with that trend.

I like the advanced stats in the sense that they can add to our insight into a player's performance. They highlight some things that we otherwise wouldn't know, and besides, to hardcore baseball fans, they're just plain interesting. I do think, however, that it's beyond absurd to make them the exclusive basis of Cy Young or MVP votes, or worse, to completely throw out "traditional" stats in favor of the sabre ones. 

You frequently see people on here making comments to the effect that "RBI's are meaningless" or "pitcher wins are meaningless." You have to wonder what these people are thinking. If RBI's are meaningless, then Hank Aaron's career was meaningless. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig's careers were meaningless. Stan Musial's career was meaningless. How silly is that? If RBI's are meaningless, then you could have batted Mario Mendoza in the cleanup spot and not affected the outcome in the least. 

I like the concept of WAR as a way to compare different positions, in particular pitchers and position players. Notice I said the "concept" of WAR. I have no idea how it's actually calculated, but when I see articles like this one, I often suspect it could use some, well, fine-tuning. And again, to use it as the predominant factor in award voting is a mistake. The award is called Most Valuable Player ... it's not called Player with Highest Artificially Determined Value. There are intangibles involved, which presumably can only be taken into account by people who actually saw the players play. It's not perfect, obviously. It's based on subjective appraisals. But that's why you have dozens of voters, and not just one ... to get input from multiple sources.

To me, the advanced stats should be a supplement to the traditional stats. They shouldn't replace them.


Michael10
Michael10

@ZekeHall This assumes everything that matters in the game occurs at the plate, ignoring anything position players contribute on the base paths or in the field (where they spend 1300-1500 innings per season).

drm166
drm166

@gabehart77 Molina has been good, but he's on pace for 90 RBI and about 15 home runs.  He's hitting .337 and is excellent behind the plate, but those numbers generally aren't going to get you MVP. 

Charliegone
Charliegone

Pretty sure Kershaw overall has done well in these parks. Or else his career ERA wouldn't be 2.61 (better than Wainwrights btw).

pfinman
pfinman

@SDCardsFan64 well, if he hasn't beaten the Padres then he doesn't deserve it... in fact we need a new measurement... wins against lowly teams.... anyone with no wins against lowly teams is eliminated


drm166
drm166

@SDCardsFan64 You realize that Cy Young and MVP are not career awards, right?  You don't get any credit for rings in past seasons.  You pick one random team and say that Wainwright has done better against them, so he deserves the Cy Young?  Considering Kershaw's ERA, it would be pretty easy to pick other random teams that Kershaw has done better than Wainwright.   I'm amazed at the stupidity of arguments here.   

drm166
drm166

@MattBugaj  You make no sense.  What does Puig have to do with this?  Puig isn't even the best hitter on the Dodgers team.  Puig is hitting .281 with 4 home runs in the second half, and still only has 12 home runs on the season.  What in the world does that have to do with Kershaw?

drm166
drm166

@ngk11 Molina is on pace for 15 home runs and 90 RBI. He's hitting .337.  All very impressive numbers, especially when you consider his defense.  However, nobody wins MVP with those types of numbers.

pfinman
pfinman

@ngk11 so many St Louis fans on these boards that cant see the forrest through the trees.... lets see how things look for Molina, the Cards, and Wainright in a month.....my guess is all this banter will be a moot point.... 


drm166
drm166

@GoBruinsSports Kershaw has allowed 10 earned runs in his last 10 starts.  He's had a pretty big impact on the Dodgers turnaround.  The reason Hanley and Puig get more credit is the Dodgers problem has been scoring runs, not pitching.

Charliegone
Charliegone

@Michael10 Wainwright is a nice pitcher, but consider this. Wainwright has a higher BAA, higher OBP against,  higher SLG against and a higher OPS. He also has given up more homers, doubles (Kershaw has given up 1 more triple than Wainwright if you want to know) and hits while also having a higher Whip, era, etc. The difference in DIPS is meniscule, Kershaw does walk more but obviously that doesn't affect his performance at all, his k/bb is also lower, but Dan Haren has a better k/bb walk as well is he better pitcher than Kershaw? Nope. Also why include the wins in this? I mean you point out to all these statistics yet you clearly point out to wins, which is considered by many stat geeks NOT to be a reliable gauge of a pitcher. That kind of makes it obvious that you're just cherry picking stats to suit your argument. Look at their whole entire body of work. Kershaw clearly has the edge on Wainwright and any other pitcher in the NL as a matter of fact. Heck his last outing he had a bad game by his standards and still shut the other team out.

drm166
drm166

@RegisReynolds Three starts ago, Liriano gave up 10 earned runs in less than 3 innings.  Kershaw has given up 10 earned runs in his last 10 starts.  That's how.

HOFPufnstuf
HOFPufnstuf

No one said AAron or Ruth's careers are rendered meaningless. LOL. That reminds me of Otter's speech to the Faber College board in 'animal house' besides apply WAR to Ruth's career amd he is the greatest ever, hands down.

patsfan94
patsfan94

@John NoLastName I don't completely disagree with everything you said but could you expand on this passage a little more: 


"If RBI's are meaningless, then Hank Aaron's career was meaningless. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig's careers were meaningless. Stan Musial's career was meaningless. How silly is that? If RBI's are meaningless, then you could have batted Mario Mendoza in the cleanup spot and not affected the outcome in the least. "

Nobody is arguing that these players careers are meaningless because their RBi totals don't hold nearly the significance that tradition holds them to.  All 4 of the players you mentioned were still all-time great players and all are top 10 in modern-ERA career WAR. I also think you misunderstand the argument as to why they're "meaningless", no reasonable person would claim batting Mario Mendoza in the clean-up spot wouldn't have a significant effect on outcomes, they would however make the (reasonable) argument that with all other things being equal, a player hitting .320/.450/..550 in the leadoff spot with 70 RBI is just as good a player with the same line batting cleanup with 140 RBI.

ngk11
ngk11

@drm166 @gabehart77 And a pitcher winning less than 17 or 18 games usually doesnt win it either using your logic

AnthonyP5500
AnthonyP5500

@drm166 @gabehart77 So if he ends with 20 homeruns does that make him MVP worthy somehow (ie buster posey?) give me a break.  He's leading the league in batting and is a better defensive player at his position than arguably anyone in the game . . . a position where his play literally matters for every single pitch of every single game.  Verlander did not deserve an MVP last year . . . these numbers are not even historically great.  Just look at Randy Johnson's season in 2001, the height of the steroid bubble, and you'll be floored.  Kershaw and Verlander couldn't carry his jockstrap.  You have to be more than just a really good pitcher in a year (in my book) if you want to make up for the fact you only play every five days.  Kershaw is a really good pitcher, maybe a hall of fame pitcher, having a good year.  But this isn't some epic season.  Period

gabehart77
gabehart77

@drm166 @gabehart77 I don't disagree that if you look exclusively at numbers that will go in the record book that Molina wouldn't rate.  I also agree with the articles author that Kershaw is making a fine case for himself.  My point is that anyone who has watched Molina very much this year knows that he has a giant impact on the games that isn't quantified into any metric (that I know of).  I fully admit a personal bias towards position players over pitchers for MVP by the way.

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

@drm166@MattBugaj23-32 when Puig was called up, 51-20 since. There is an MVP on this team, and it ain't the guy who was throwing every 5 days (brilliantly) while they were 23-32. I'm sorry that doesn't make sense to you.

ngk11
ngk11

@pfinman @ngk11 Keeping doubting and guessing all you want with your distorted grasp of reality

Michael10
Michael10

@Charliegone @Michael10 I pointed out wins and strikouts because Jaffe did so in suggesting Kershaw could take another pitching Triple Crown. The only stat Kershaw is running away from the field in is ERA and anyone who points to the flaws in wins should know that DIPS is a better measure -- the difference between Wainwright and Kershaw in DIPS may be slight, but the difference in ERA is grossly misleading. 

Had I noted only the stats Wainwright is  leading the majors or NL in (wins, complete games, shutouts, innings, BB/9, BB/K) you might have reason to raise a "cherry picker" flag, but I addressed the Triple Crown and WAR stats in Jaffe's argument as well...

Michael10
Michael10

@Dodger-Dave @Michael10 I guess we won't know that until they square off in the playoffs...what I do know is St. Louis has beaten Kershaw twice this season without Wainwright.

Michael10
Michael10

@sterculius65 @Michael10 Jaffe posted this hours after Kershaw's 27th start and hours before Wainwright's. It's been neck and neck all season, so if anyone is cherrypicking it's Jaffe...

RegisReynolds
RegisReynolds

@drm166 @RegisReynolds So, we use the player's worst performance to determine if he is worthy of the award and compare it to another pitcher's best streak.  Brilliant.

MattBugaj
MattBugaj

@Metlib @Michael10 @MattBugaj @drm166 Yes, I agree with these posts. Kershaw has been doing it since day 1, but a lot of things had to change in order for the team to succeed. CYY, you betcha. MVP? Hardly.

Metlib
Metlib

@Michael10 @MattBugaj @drm166 ...and Kenley Jansen replaced Brandon League as closer the same week. Ramirez, Puig and Jansen are the reasons for the Dodgers' turnaround from worst to first. AGon and Andre Ethier are the only players to play well every day. I love Kersh, but he's not the MVP.

drm166
drm166

@MattBugaj @drm166  Through June 10, the Dodgers bullpen had an ERA of 6.00.    They've been lights out since.  The Dodgers had a 2.52 team ERA in July, and 1.82 in August.  If you think Puig is the reason the Dodgers have won, you don't understand baseball.  He's been helpful and added energy, but he's far from the reason they've turned it around.

pfinman
pfinman

@AnthonyP5500 @pfinman @golferx The Cardnials have the 4th best record in the National league as I write this, not the third best in Baseball....and I do agree they will make the playoffs.... I just don't think Wainright or Molina will win the MVP or CY Young nor do they deserve to do so... my opinion...

AnthonyP5500
AnthonyP5500

@pfinman @golferx The Cardinals have the third best record in baseball, two games away from the best, are 1 game out of first in the NL's most competitive division, have won 7-10 after their one rough patch of the entire year, and have a 9.5 game lead in the wild card.  I'm pretty positive they aren't going anywhere

pfinman
pfinman

@golferx @pfinman cubs fan ? hardly... a few weeks ago all the cards fans were touting the record of the team... now that they are down a bit they are on to the individual players.... in a month it will be a moot point... if you are still on the boards here (which I doubt) then we will see...

drm166
drm166

@golferx @Michael10 wainwright over Kershaw for Cardinal homers.  Wainwright is excellent, but Kershaw has clearly had a better season thus far.

RegisReynolds
RegisReynolds

@drm166 BTW, the article was about the Cy Young Award not about lowest ERA.  Further, my complaint was that Liriano was not mentioned.  I did not say he deserved the award over anybody.  I did not say he didn't either.  I did say he deserved a mention.  Period.  Have a good day.

RegisReynolds
RegisReynolds

@drm166 @RegisReynolds I guess that leave Puig out of MVP contention.  What about ROY?Did it ever occur to you that Liriano took one for the team?  He could have been pulled after only a few runs but the Pirates were trying to save the relief pitchers. 

drm166
drm166

If Liriano gives up 4 earned runs in his next 78 innings, he'll have the same ERA as Kershaw.   If he goes 7 innings per start, that means he'll have to give up 4 runs over his next 11 starts to match Kershaw.  Again, it's absolutely no competition.

drm166
drm166

@RegisReynolds @drm166 When that player gives up more runs in his worst performance than the other player has given up in the last 6 weeks - then yes.  It's ridiculous that you're comparing Liriano to Kershaw.  Liriano didn't even pitch until May 11.