Joe Saunders

Zack Greinke Wins A.L. Cy Young Award

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 | Cy Young Award, Kansas City Royals, MLB, Sports | No Comments

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Zack Greinke is your 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner.  It is a bittersweet award win for Greinke because he would rather be out of the spotlight than directly in it.  You see Greinke led the American League in losses (17) in 2005 and he took time off from the sport the following season after he was diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder that hampered his ability to perform in public.  His statements after he was informed that he had been named the Cy Young Award winner demonstrate his reluctancy to be in the public spotlight: “A lot of stuff going on today when I usually just like doing nothing. But just part of life… Back in Orlando, I haven’t really got a whole lot of attention from people, which has been nice.  So I hope it doesn’t get that way, where everyone if like, ‘Oh, hey, Zack, hi.’”  Greinke acknowledges that he would rather stay anonymous and not always be referred to as a Cy Young Award winner, so “in that way, it’s kind of like a negative for me.”  But he understands that he will have to deal with it. “I really don’t like having a bunch of attention, so even if I did see myself in that light, I don’t do anything about it.  I’m real uncomfortable doing stuff like that, to be around people and doing stuff like that.”

As for his numbers, the voters gave the award to Greinke even though he did not have the most wins in the AL.  He led the AL with an unbelievably low 2.16 ERA.  Greinke racked up a career high 242 strikeouts – 2nd most in the American League behind Justin Verlander (see below).  His ERA was the lowest for a starting pitcher since Pedro Martinez finished with a 1.74 ERA in 2000.  Greinke received 25 of 28 1st place votes and 3 2nd place votes, good for a total of 134 points.  At 16-8, Greinke probably would have had a lot more wins if he didn’t play for a team that won just 65 games all season long.  In Greinke’s 8 losses, the Royals scored just 13 runs and in his 9 no decisions, the Royals scored just 21 runs in support of Greinke.  There were 6 times during the season that he allowed 1 run or less in an outing and did not qualify for a win.

Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners finished in 2nd place in the voting (2 1st place votes, 23 2nd place votes and 1 3rd place vote for a total of 80 points).  Hernandez went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA.  Any other year, Hernandez would have likely won the award.

Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers finished in 3rd place.  Verlander led the American League in strikeouts with 269 K’s and was tied for the American League in wins with Hernandez and CC Sabathia with 19 wins.

6 other pitchers had more wins than Greinke – Hernandez, Verlander and Sabathia each had 19 wins, while Roy Halladay, Josh Beckett and Scott Feldman each finished with 17 wins on the year.  Joe Saunders and Jered weaver of the Angels matched Greinke’s 16 wins.

Congrats Zack – you deserve to be recognized for your achievement, and whether you like it or not, you will serve as a great example to those out their that suffer from similar anxiety issues that you can overcome.

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Yankees Top Angels 5-2, Advance to 2009 World Series

Monday, October 26th, 2009 | Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, MLB, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Sports | No Comments

ALCS Angels Yankees Baseball

The World Series is finally back in New York.  The Yankees defeated the Angels 5-2 on Sunday night to advance to their 40th World Series in franchise history.  If the Yankees can defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2009 Fall Classic, it will be the Yankees 27th World Championship.

Andy Pettitte pitched a solid game in Game 6 of the ALCS – 1 ER on 7 hits and 1 walk in 6 1/3 innings pitched.  Pettitte struck out 6 Angels batters and he won his 16th career post-season game – a major league record.  Joba Chamberlain retired the only 2 batters he faced in the 7th inning to get Pettitte and the Yankees out of a “mini” 1-out, 1-on “jam” to preserve the Yankees 3-1 lead.  And Mariano Rivera came on for his “typical” 6-out save, although he did give up a run on 2 singles to Chone Figgins and Vladimir Guerrero in the 8th inning.  But Rivera worked a perfect 1-2-3 9th inning, striking out Gary Matthews, Jr. to end the game and send the Yankees faithful into a tizzy.

After falling behind 1-0 on a Bobby Abreu RBI single in the 3rd inning, the Yankees rallied to take the lead for good with 3 runs in the 4th inning.  Two walks and a single from a patient Yankees lineup loaded the bases with just 1 out.  Johnny Damon delivered a clutch 2-run single to left, and then after a Mark Teixeira single loaded the bases again, Angels starter Joe Saunders walked Alex Rodriguez to force in a run.  Just like that, the Yankees led 3-1 and they could taste another AL pennant.  When the Angels cut the Yankees lead to 3-2 with a run off Rivera in the 8th inning, the Yankees answered right back in the bottom of the inning.  Robinson Cano led off with another walk just like he did in the 4th inning.  Then the Angels defense deserted them again.  Nick Swisher reached on a Howie Kendrick error and then Scott Kazmir threw away Melky Cabrera’s sacrifice bunt allowing Cano to score from 2nd base.  The Yankees had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and after a Derek Jeter ground out and a Damon walk, Teixeira drove in the game’s final run with a sacrifice fly to deep center field.

Yankees 5, Angels 2.  Game over…

The Yankees will host the Phillies in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night.  The $201 million payroll – the largest in all of baseball – finally delivered a shot at a World Series to George Steinbrenner and the Yankee brass – it has been 6 years since the Yankees have played in the Fall Classic.  Alex Rodriguez – in his 16-year MLB career – is finally going to get to play in his 1st World Series.  After struggling in his post-season performance to date, A-Rod delivered in 2009 – .438 batting average, 5 home runs and 12 RBI’s in the Yankees 9 playoffs games in 2009. CC Sabathia – the Yankees high-priced ace – will square off against his former Cleveland Indians teammate Cliff Lee on Wednesday night.  Both pitchers have been “lights-out during the playoff in 2009.  Sabathia is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 3 starts (3 ER, 20 K’s and 3 walks in 22 2/3 innings pitched).  Lee is 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA in 3 starts (2 ER, 20 K’s and 3 walks in 24 1/3 innings pitched).  Should be a classic battle – wouldn’t it be great to see these 2 duke it out in Games 1, 4 and 7?!  Can’t wait. We’ll have our predictions over the next 2 days leading up to Wednesday’s contest.

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