A Few Thoughts On Greinke’s Cy Young SeasonNovember 17, 2009
When I first heard today that Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young Award my immediate thought as a selfish Mets fan was, “when was the last time a Met won the NL Cy Young?”. The answer: Dwight Gooden in 1985. As a matter of fact, the Mets have only won the NL Cy Young Award four times in their teams history….reference here. After I got over the dissappointment, I turned my attention to analyzing Greinke’s season.
There is no doubt Greinke had a great year and defanitely deserves the award but I couldn’t help but notice the horrible season his team had. The Royals finished 65-97 and only three teams in baseball had a worse record. With that said, I did a little research to see when was the last time a pitcher won the AL Cy Young Award for a team that finished with less than 70 wins. You have to go back to 1994 when David Cone won the Cy Young, for guess who…those Kansas City Royals. The Royals finished 64-51 in 1994, but that was a strike season. Before that it was Rollie Fingers in 1981 for the then AL Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers were 62-47 but again that was a strike season as well.
In looking back over the history of the AL Cy Young Award, I could not find one guy who won the award that played for a team with less than 70 wins in a full season of baseball. And according to FOX Sports, the only player in MLB history (AL or NL) that won the award pitching for a worse team was Steve Carlton who’s Phillies went 59-97 when he won the award in 1972.
So again, hat tip to Greinke. Not only did he dominate by winning 16 games with a 2.16 ERA but he also did it for one of the worst teams in baseball.