NEW YORK » For once, Felix Hernandez got all the support he needed for a big win.
The Seattle ace earned the AL Cy Young Award yesterday despite a modest 13-12 record. His major league-leading 2.27 ERA and superior stats put him far ahead of Tampa Bay’s David Price and the Yankees’ CC Sabathia and their impressive win-loss numbers.
Victimized by the Mariners’ poor hitting all season, Hernandez found ample backing with the voters in this pitchers’ duel. They clearly recognized how little the last-place Mariners helped him — in 10 starts, they were either shut out or held to one run.
"This confirms the Cy Young is an award not only for the pitcher with the most wins, but the most dominant," a teary-eyed Hernandez said while celebrating with relatives at the family home in Valencia, Venezuela.
King Felix got 21 of the 28 first-place votes and 167 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The 24-year-old right-hander led the league in innings (249 2/3 ), was second in strikeouts (232) and held AL opponents to the lowest batting average (.212).
Price, who went 19-6 with a 2.72 ERA, was second with four first-place votes and 111 points. Sabathia, who was 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA, drew the other three first-place votes and finished third at 102.
"I feel like they got it right," Price said on a conference call from Nashville, Tenn. "Felix, I thought he deserved it, even though he didn’t have a lot of wins. You can’t really control all that."
The 13 wins by Hernandez marked the fewest for a Cy Young starter in a full season — Tim Lincecum set the record last year with 15 victories for San Francisco.
|AMERICAN LEAGUE CY YOUNG VOTING
Total points on a 7-4-3-2-1 basis