Now that the BBWAA is enlightened, can we get a re-do on 2005?

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Since a big portion of the Baseball Writers Association of America seems to be beyond their past over-reliance on win-loss records to evaluate starting pitchers, can we have a good old-fashioned mulligan on the AL Cy Young vote from 2005?
Bartolo Colon, who won the award that year, had a 3.48 ERA, 157/43 K/BB ratio, and .244 opponents’ batting average in 223 innings.
Johan Santana, who did not win the award that year, had a 2.87 ERA, 238/45 K/BB ratio, and .210 opponents’ batting average in 232 innings.
Santana was clearly superior in just about every possible way, throwing more innings than Colon with an ERA that was 20 percent lower, racking up 50 percent more strikeouts with the same number of walks, and being 15 percent harder to hit. So how did Colon not only win the award, but win the award with 15 more first-place votes than Santana in a pool of 28 voters?
Colon was 21-8.
Santana was 16-7.
They may not care so much about that now, but the BBWAA were sure obsessed with win-loss records four years ago. The voters saw those 21 wins and ignored everything else, including the fact that Colon pitched for a 95-win team that provided him with 5.6 runs of support per nine innings. Santana pitched for an 83-win team that gave him 4.4 runs of support per nine innings. Colon received 30 percent more run support than Santana overall, including an amazing 10 or more runs eight times in 33 starts.
So yes, the BBWAA deserves credit for recently changing their stance and correctly rewarding the best pitcher in each league with the Cy Young award that’s supposed to go to the best pitcher in each league even when they didn’t have the best win-loss record. With that said, Zack Greinke and Tim Lincecum are lucky that they weren’t trying to win the award in 2005 and it remains to be seen if the voters would have been willing to look beyond an otherwise inferior 20-game winner like Colon had there been one this year.

Bud Norris exits outing with right knee soreness

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Angels’ right-handed reliever Bud Norris made his 23rd appearance of the season on Friday, and after just three pitches, he was done for the night. He worked a 2-1 count to Marlins’ Dee Gordon in the eighth inning, then promptly exited the field after experiencing some tightness in his right knee. Neither Norris nor manager Mike Scioscia believe the injury is cause for major concern, and the 32-year-old right-hander admitted that it may have had something to do with his lack of stretching before he took the mound. For now, he’s day-to-day with right knee soreness, with the hope that the issue doesn’t escalate over the next few days.

While the Angels are lucky to have avoided serious injury, they’ll need Norris to pitch at 100% if they want to stay competitive within the AL West. They currently sit a full nine games behind the league-leading Astros, and haven’t been helping their cause after taking five losses in their last eight games. Friday’s 8-5 finale marked their third consecutive loss of the week.

 

When healthy, Norris has been one of the better arms in the Angels’ bullpen. Through 23 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 2.66 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an outstanding 11.8 SO/9 in 23 outings. The righty hasn’t allowed a single run in four straight appearances, recording three saves and helping the club clinch four wins in that span. This is his second setback of the year after sustaining a partial fingernail tear on his pitching hand during spring training.

Video: Max Scherzer sets record with 13-strikeout outing

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Max Scherzer is a force to be reckoned with. The Nationals’ right-hander delivered a season-high 13 strikeouts against the Padres on Friday, locking down his fifth win and his fourth double-digit strikeout performance of the year.

More remarkably, it was also the 53rd double-digit strikeout performance of Scherzer’s career, tying Clayton Kershaw for the most 10+ strikeout appearances by an active major league pitcher. Chris Sale is a distant third, with 43 to his name, though he’s been making considerable strides to catch up so far this spring.

Scherzer took the Padres to task on Friday night, whiffing 13 of 31 batters during his 108-pitch outing. He started strong, catching Allen Cordoba swinging on a 1-2 count to start the game and keeping the game scoreless until Ryan Schimpf unleashed a home run in the fourth inning. That was the first and final run the Padres managed off of Scherzer, who retired 14 consecutive batters following the blast and came one out shy of a complete game in the ninth inning. (Fittingly, Koda Glover polished off the win with a final strikeout, bringing the total to 14 on the night.)

It’ll take more than one stellar start to advance Scherzer and Kershaw on the all-time list, however. Their 53-game record ranks 13th, about 159 games behind second-place Hall of Fame hurler Randy Johnson and a full 162 games shy of the inimitable Nolan Ryan.