I decided to statistically investigate the 1981 Cy Young vote after Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman told cohort Jeff Brantley that Tom Seaver was “jobbed” out of winning the award.  Is Marty right or did the baseball writers get it right by giving the award to Dodgers Pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.

 

Fernando Valenzuela

Los Angeles Dodgers

70 Points (8 First Place Votes)

 

 At this point I am only going to compare the starting pitchers and thus eliminate Sutter in the mix.  Here are the vitals on the starting pitchers.

 

Name

IP

K/9

BB/9

HR/9

R/9

BABIP

ERA

FIP

Valenzuela

192.1

2.95

2.85

.515

2.57

.262

2.48

3.03

Seaver

166.1

1.32

3.57

.541

2.76

.223

2.54

4.18

Carlton

190.0

2.89

2.94

.426

2.79

.286

2.42

2.92

Ryan

149

2.06

4.11

.120

2.05

.257

1.69

2.88

 

It would seem at this point that Nolan Ryan did pitch better than those with more votes, however he did pitch 43 less innings than Valenzuela and 17 less innings than Seaver.  Perhaps he would have different numbers had he pitched more. 

 

If we only compared Seaver and Valenzuela, Fernando clearly beats out Seaver in just about ever category, even if by a small margin.  Valenzuela averaged less walks per 9 innings and had more strike outs per nine innings as well.  More importantly, look at fielding independent of pitching (FIP).  Valenzuela holds a large advantage in that category by a wide margin.  Fielding Independent Pitching, a measure of all those things for which a pitcher is specifically responsible.  Home runs, walks, hit batsmen, hits, and strike outs are all the responsibility of the pitcher, and are not dependent on the defensive ability of the fielders behind him.

 

Did Seaver get “jobbed”?  Probably not but it is interesting to note per Rob Neyer’s Blog,  that both Seaver and Valenzuela both were responsible for 17 win shares on their respective team. 

 

So while Marty’s interest may lie with the Cincinnati Reds, the Cy Young voters got it right in awarding Valenzuela the 1981 Cy Young Award.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: