Earlier today I posted the following statement on Twitter:
"If Zack Greinke doesn't win the AL Cy Young, I'm going to punch Joba Chamberlain in the face."
I wouldn't really punch Joba in the face (mostly due to logistical difficulties), but I would have been pretty upset. The fact that Greinke was recognized with this award means that the BBWAA is finally recognizing that W-L% is not the be-all end-all of pitching greatness.
Greinke's 2009 stat line looked like this:
16-8 record, 26 quality starts, 229.1 IP, 2.16 ERA
For what it's worth, I think Greinke's story is MUCH more inspiring than Josh Hamilton's. Sure, Hamilton overcame his drug addiction to become a feared hitter in the big leagues and put on a show at the 2008 HR Derby, but who decided to take drugs in the first place? I don't mean to belittle Hamilton's struggles, I only want to shed some light on what Greinke went through to get where he is today.
Two years ago, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner was planning to quit baseball and never look back. He was suffering from crippling depression and anxiety, and had put together a pretty bad season. He had electric stuff, but his makeup was literally crushing him. Luckily, he decided to stay in the game, allowing thousands of fans to watch him dominate this year, and most likely for the foreseeable future.
Luckily for the Red Sox, they only faced Greinke once this year, and it was a brutal night in Kansas City for the visitors. The game lasted just over two and a half hours, because Greinke was brilliant: he allowed just two hits in six innings (to Pedey and VMart), while keeping the game scoreless. For once, he got both the run support and bullben support he needed, as the Royals scored five runs off of Paul Byrd, and the bullpen game up just one.
I was torn before that game. I wanted the Red Sox to win, as I always do, but I was hoping it could come due to some unearned runs, or perhaps at the expense of the bullpen. After all, it was September 22, Sabathia had a chance to get to twenty wins, and I wanted to make sure that Greinke would get that Cy Young plaque.
We lost the game, but it gave Zack another win (and we went to the playoffs anyway, albeit briefly) in his quest for the award. Royals fans haven't had much to celebrate lately (though the new stadium looks great), so I hope they're enjoying this victory as much as I am: the best pitcher won, and that's how it should be.