National League Cy Young voting was tallied up and provided to the public yesterday on MLB Network and all over the internet. It really wasn’t a surprise that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw won the award. He was the best pitcher in all of baseball in my opinion. The Nationals got some love as well, with Jordan Zimmermann receiving 21 points and finishing 7th in the voting.
Zimermann finished behind Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Jose Fernandez, Craig Kimbrel, Matt Harvey, and Cliff Lee. All of those pitchers had great seasons and deserved to get the credit that they ended up getting. Did Zimmerman match up well with these other National League pitchers or even better than some? Kimbrel is a whole other story, as he is a reliever and doesn’t pitch as much so we will leave him on his own.
Zimmermann pitched the most innings he ever has, 213.1, while posting a 3.25 ERA. He had a great first half of the season, while he fell way off in the second. Through the first two months of the season Zimmermann had eight wins and only three losses. I am not huge on wins for pitchers but he got the job done none the less.
One thing that was the most consistent for Zimmermann throughout the first half, was him pitching deep into games. He pitched at least seven innings in eight of his first eleven starts. That is huge to being a successful pitcher, just ask Clayton Kershaw. On top of that he gave up two or less runs in nine of those eleven starts.
Stacking up Zimmermann against the other guys ahead of him, he ranked fourth out of six starters in IP, sixth in WHIP, sixth in ERA, third in BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play), and sixth in K/9. So going with those stats alone he averages a sixth place finish.
How about some more statistics… He ranks fifth out of six starting pitchers in Opponent Batting Average at .239 and Opponent OBP (.279). He ranks sixth out of six in Opponent Slugging (.375) and Opponent OPS (.654).
Those don’t go well either for Zimmermann according to the other players going after the award.
Craig Kimbrel did a great job of keeping runners off the bases and struck out batters at an alarming rate. He didn’t qualify like the starters but he did deserve to get Cy Young voting. His ERA was an amazing .121, while his WHIP was .88. He completed 50 of his 54 save opportunities. His 50 ranked first in the National League, and he dominated hitters in the ninth inning. His credit was earned for his duties and he deserved to be recognized among the best pitchers in the National League.
So did Zimmermann deserve to finish 7th? Yes he did. He wasn’t as good as the others in keeping opponent batters off the base paths. In doing so that is why he ranked sixth in ERA and WHIP among the others. He just didn’t get the job done when it came to getting outs. That is the name of the game right? You have to get outs without the other team scoring for your team to win the game. Zimmermann didn’t do that better than the other candidates. That is why he deserved to finish seventh in the voting.