Felix Hernandez wins the American League Cy Young Award

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The results have been released and Alexander Mendoza was right: Felix Hernandez has won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award.  He beat out David Price, who finished second, and CC Sabathia who took third. Jon Lester and Jered Weaver rounded out the top five.  Ultimately — and as I predicted — the voting wasn’t that close:  King Felix won fairly easily, taking 21 of the 28 first place votes.  The most scandalous thing I’ve seen so far is that David Price was left off a ballot.  Given that voters were voting for the top five, that’s a tad curious, though maybe not to backers of Hernandez, Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Jered Weaver and Jon Lester.

For the second year in a row, the Baseball Writers Association of America gave the award to the better pitcher, not the pitcher with a bigger win total.  For as much vitriol as has been thrown at the BBWAA in the past, they should be lauded here for a job well done.  And we should probably acknowledge at this point that, in the run up to the awards, the “old school” writers who say things contrary to the prevalent sabermetric thinking likely aren’t all that representative of the BBWAA voting pool in the first place.  These arguments we have, I’m beginning to realize, are between the wrong people. Even if they are highly enjoyable.

In a nice change from usual practice, the BBWAA has listed which writers voted for which players for first place.  For those of you who must have blood from any who dare oppose the King Felix orthordoxy, know that Mel Antonen, Tony Fabrizio, Phil Rogers and Chris Assenheimer voted Price for first place.  George King, Bob Elliott and Sheldon Ocker had Sabathia first.

Congratulations, King Felix.

Dodgers look to join the Red Sox in the World Series

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One team has punched its ticket to the Fall Classic. Two teams are looking to join them, with the Dodgers carrying the distinct advantage. Los Angeles needs only a split in the final two games of the NLCS while Milwaukee needing to win both games at home. Doable? Absolutely. But to do it, the Brewers are going to have to wake up their sleepy bats.

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:39 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley
Breakdown:

The Dodgers will give the ball to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but allowed two runs and tossed 72 pitches, failing to get out of the fifth inning, in Game 2 against Milwaukee. Even if he again turns in a short outing Dave Roberts should feel pretty confident, however, as the Dodgers’ bullpen — considered a question mark coming into this series — has allowed only three runs in in 21 and two-thirds innings of work.

For Milwaukee it’s once again Wade Miley, who was the Game 5 “starter,” but who pitched to only one batter. I suppose it’s possible that Craig Counsell will burn him like that again, but it seems more likely that Miley will actually pitch in this game rather than be used as a decoy.

As I noted the other day, though, the Brewers’ pitching gamesmanship has not really been a factor in this series. The real problem for them has been their offense. They’ve scored only 16 runs in five games while batting .219. That’s actually identical to the Dodgers’ run total and average overall, but L.A. has been better at distributing that meager offense. Milwaukee has been cold at the worst times, too, going 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the series, including one for their last 11. If that doesn’t change, their season ends tonight.