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Sunday, September 07, 2003

THREE MEN AND A SCABIE

Yesterday Roy Halladay shut-out the Tigers for 10 innings, no-hitting them over 7 of those innings. Estoban Loiza gets to face these guys all the time. It's for that reason that I'm less and less inclined to think Loiza is the most deserving CY Young candidate. Not only does Loiza get to face the toothless Tigers on a regular basis (6 times so far this year) but the two toughest teams he has to face in his division are the Twins and the Royals. Halladay has to face off against the likes of the Yanks and BoSox, signifigantly better than the Twins or Royals, and the worst team he gets to face in his division, the Devil Rays, are still 18 games better than the Tigers. On top of that, Halladay has thrown 37 more innings than Loiza to this point, and he's done it behind a much worse defense. (The White Sox are ranked 3rd in Fielding% while the Jays are ranked 12th.) To Halladay's disadavantage will also be the fact that the other Cy Young Candidates are on teams in playoff contention. Although, the Jays will likely be over .500 which is a much better situation for him than pitching for a sub-500 club. This doesn't mean that I think Roy Halladay should be given the award. There are still two other guys who you can make a strong Cy Young case for; Tim Hudson and Pedro Martinez. As with Barry Bonds, the only thing stopping Pedro from picking up the award is playing time. Pedro leads the league in ERA and K's but he's only thrown 159 innings so far. The fact that he's been able to lead the league in strike-outs despite only averaging 6+ innings in 25 starts is pretty awesome. He also throws in a very hitter friendly Fenway and his defense isn't the greatest either. With the Yankees and BoSox going down to the wire I think Pedro is going to have a chance to throw in some important games which could potentially help to off-set his lack of innings pitched. Good luck to him, when he's healthy he's the best in the game. (And he's the Red Sox real MVP, Joe Morgan.) And also making a strong case for the award is Tim Hudson. He's 2nd in ERA and Innings Pitched and he pitches in arguably the toughest division in the AL. As a groundball pitcher Hudson has the best infield defense in the league behind him and the ample foul territory in Oakland isn't bad for his ERA either. The A's are also in a division battle with the Mariners and with Mulder down for the rest of the season every game Tim pitches will matter. We'll have to wait and see how the pennant races aplenty play out but if I had a vote come October, and lord knows I never will, I'd vote for Pedro if he can throw another 30 Pedro-like innings or so. (Notice I didn't list Loiza's merits for the award? Thats because I'm not going to. I get a bad vibe from that guy. Who's going to end up giving this guy a 5 year deal in the off-season and then see his ERA head back towards 5? I think the Rangers will be too gun shy to, so I'll go with the Brewers because Gord Ash is the assistant GM and can't wait to get burned by Loiza again.)

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