SportsNation Blog ArchivesSN Blog Archives Felix Hernandez

Max Scherzer has been near perfect through his first 20 starts, notching a 19-1 record and on the brink of becoming the first pitcher since Roger Clemons in 2001 to start the season 20-1. But does Scherzer's record mean he's a better pitcher than the MLB ERA leader Clayton Kershaw? Click the images below to set your rankings!

Baseball's best pitchers

Bartolo Colon

Bartolo Colon

Athletics
14-5, 2.97 ERA

Patrick Corbin

Patrick Corbin

Diamondbacks
13-4, 2.79 ERA

Yu Darvish

Yu Darvish

Rangers
12-5, 2.68 ERA

Jorge De La Rosa

Jorge De La Rosa

Rockies
14-6, 3.28 ERA

Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez

Marlins
10-5, 2.30 ERA

Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke

Dodgers
13-3, 2.86 ERA

Matt Harvey

Matt Harvey

Mets
9-5, 2.27 ERA

Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez

Mariners
12-8, 2.97 ERA

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw

Dodgers
13-8, 1.72 ERA

Hiroki Kuroda

Hiroki Kuroda

Yankees
11-10, 2.89 ERA

Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee

Phillies
11-6, 3.07 ERA

Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano

Pirates
14-6, 2.74 ERA

Mike Minor

Mike Minor

Braves
13-5, 2.99 ERA

David Price

David Price

Rays
8-5, 3.28 ERA

Chris Sale

Chris Sale

White Sox
10-12, 2.99 ERA

Anibal Sanchez

Anibal Sanchez

Tigers
11-7, 2.61 ERA

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer

Tigers
19-1, 2.73 ERA

Justin Verlander

Justin Verlander

Tigers
12-10, 3.73 ERA

Adam Wainwright

Adam Wainwright

Cardinals
15-8, 2.96 ERA

Jordan Zimmerman

Jordan Zimmerman

Nationals
15-7, 3.32 ERA

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On Aug. 28, CC Sabathia gave up nine hits and five earned runs, including two home runs, in seven innings yet picked up a win against the White Sox. On Sept. 23, Felix Hernandez gave up two hits and one earned run in eight innings and took a loss against the Blue Jays. Who pitched better?

All right, it's a loaded question. Many people would point out Sabathia's start came with the Yankees locked in a tight AL East race and against a White Sox team still in contention at the time. Hernandez, on the other hand, was pitching in front of 12,000 fans wishing it was hockey season in Toronto. Others would answer that five is still five times as many as one.

Still others, namely David Price, would cough loudly and glance at the AL East standings and then at his own stat line ... and then back at the standings.

So a day after Sabathia, Hernandez and Price all won games, who should win the AL Cy Young? We posed the question in a number of ways, listing just the players, the players and their stats and just their stats. In all three cases, Sabathia got the nod.

M@ (Hattiesburg, MS)

As wide open as the AL CY Young race is, I haven't heard Jon Lester mentioned once, even though his numbers are better than C.C.'s. across the board, an equal to Felix. For instance, opponents hit .243 off CC, .213 against Felix and .214 against Lester. Did his flirtation with a no-hitter against the Yankees Saturday put him on the map, finally? Who would you give the CY to?

Joe Morgan (before Hernandez and Sabathia's wins Tuesday)
Joe Morgan

I think he's always been in the race in my mind. I like what Felix Hernandez has done, but he has won only 12 games. People say that he doesn't get support from his teamamtes, but guess what, every award is a team award. You can't win the MVP without your teammates. Do we look at an MVP candidate and say his team didn't give him a chance to drive in runs? The fact is that Felix has won 12 games and CC has won 20. It is harder to win in a championship environment in New York than in Felix's situation. Just look at AJ Burnett this year. Felix has done a good job this year, but he's not in the same difficulty level of pitching this year as CC. Full transcript

Scott (Boston, MA)

Whats your take on the AL CY Young race? Should it go to the guy with the best pitching stats (Felix Hernandez) or the guy with the most wins (CC) or the guy with the closest combination of both (Jon Lester)?

Nolan Ryan
Nolan Ryan

That's a good question. I would also like to consider the impact that pitcher had on his team being competitive in a pennant race. I don't know who I'd pick. Full transcript

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This season has been a bit of a snoozer for the Seattle Mariners, and yes, that's a bad Ken Griffey Jr. joke. A chic sleeper pick to win the AL West before the season, the Mariners have instead been outscored by 143 runs and still have some work to do to steer clear of 100 losses. But that may not stop the team from being in the middle of one of September's hottest races.

Felix Hernandez is only 11-10 this season, but is there something to be said for being a game better than .500 for a team that is collectively 30 games worse than that mark? Hernandez also leads the AL in strikeouts and ranks second in ERA, but if SportsNation's votes are any indication, he has some work to do in the Cy Young race.

Mike (New York)

I cannot buy into King Felix being a lock for the CY young. Since when wins did not mean much? Shouldn't it be taken into consideration which pitcher provided the most wins for their team when started. Doesn't wins, more or less, play into a pitcher's chances in the hall of fame?

Jayson Stark
Jayson Stark

Thanks for getting into this, Mike. I'm not one of those people who says, unequivocally, that wins are meaningless. Are they an overrated stat in this day and age? Yes. But meaningless? No. So I'm not willing to just trash the win column, like a lot of people are, come Cy Young time. But I also believe the Cy Young is a performance award: Who has pitched the best? And it's tough to ignore the difference between how good CC's team is and how good Felix's team is, especially offensively. Felix beats CC in pretty much every category except wins, and beats him convincingly in ERA and WHIP. So let's see how this turns out. But as much as I admire and respect CC, I don't think he has pitched better than Felix Hernandez this year. Transcript

Steve (Middletown, CT)

Does Felix Hernandez have any shot at winning the Cy Young award? Other than win-loss record all his numbers are better than Sabathia and if he played for any other team he'd probably be the one with 18 wins. Thoughts?

Jerry Crasnick
Jerry Crasnick

Steve, In past years I would have said no, but Felix's numbers are so staggeringly good, he might have a shot. The voters showed last year that they're willing to put W-L totals aside and focus on the other numbers. That said, Sabathia is 18-5 and Felix is 10-10. That's a pretty big gap. Transcript

Tito (Brooklyn)

Do you think CC Sabathia is the frontrunner for the AL CY Young award right now?

Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan

I've always said that but everyone seems to think that his numbers don't matter because he pitches for the Yankees. All CC has done is continue to win, while others were talking about Cliff Lee being the best pitcher in the AL. Right now we have many different ways to look at how a pitcher is performing, but the name of the game is to win. I feel that he should be the Cy Young Award winner because he's the only one carrying the Yankees rotation right now. But there's something about the Yankees that people don't want to give him credit for. I'm amazed that Mark Teixeira and Jeter did not get a first place vote for MVP last year. Transcript

Bill (Seattle)

Felix Hernandez probably should get some Cy Young votes given his numbers, but that Win-Loss record is going to kill him isn't it?

Keith Law
Keith Law

Probably, although the voters did get it right with Greinke last year. The voting pool on each award is different each year, so you never really know until the results are out. Transcript

Comment »

Cliff Lee hasn't had much difficulty polishing his Cy Young credentials against hitters in recent seasons. General managers, on the other hands, have mastered the art of keeping awards out of his hands.

Lee won the AL Cy Young in 2008 but any chance for a repeat in 2009 was derailed when the Indians traded him across leagues to the Phillies. Another offseason swap landed him back in the AL, but will a strong first half only serve to spark yet another trade? Or might Lee mount a Cy Young season from the depths of last place?

Mike W (Chicago)

Lets start this off with Cliff Lee. What are the odds he goes to Cincinnati for a playoff push and what would it take to get him?

Jerry Crasnick
Jerry Crasnick

Mike, I find the Reds to be a very interesting stealth Cliff Lee candidate. There's something special going on with that team, Walt Jocketty has a history of making deals like this, and the owner, Bob Castellini, is a very motivated guy. But Edinson Volquez's comeback clearly complicates matters. I think they'd like to give Volquez another couple of weeks before they jump in with both feet on Lee. Full transcript.

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We know baseball's regular season is a marathon, and one win in April equals one win in September. But when your team is coming to the finish line after running its metaphorical 26 miles, it has to feel good to have someone who can kick the guy behind you in the shins.

Justin Verlander was that guy Tuesday, kicking the Twins and their playoff hopes squarely where it hurts, but does one clutch performance when the Tigers needed it most put him in the thick of the AL Cy Young race?

With his team in danger of waking up this morning tied for first in the AL Central, Verlander beat the Twins and improved to 18-9 with a 3.45 ERA this season. CC Sabathia has 19 wins, Felix Hernandez has the same number of wins and a better ERA and Zack Greinke has fewer wins but the best ERA of all. But Verlander had the spotlight Tuesday night.

AL Cy Young Ballot: How do you rank the contenders for the award?

gnewsomII

Justin for Cy Young. Coming through in a pennant race is normally significant. Zach and Felix aren't pitching for much at this point.

-- GNewsomII
michissouri10

You should really go see Greinke pitch. If you haven't yet, it's really something. Plus it's cool that the dude is just a total space cadet.

-- michissouri10

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