Since we are playing the Astros tonight I though I would take a look at their roster. I also heard on some ESPN show that he probably wouldn’t win the Cy Young because he doesn’t have enough Wins. To that, I say WTF?

Anybody who votes against Roger Clemens because he doesn’t have enough wins needs to have their voting rights revoked.

He has had one outing where he allowed 3 runs, and one outing where he allowed 4 runs and one outing where he allowed 5 runs. In the other 24 outings he has allowed 2 runs 6 times, 1 run 7 times, and 0 runs 11 times.

On a good offensive team he could easily be 24-3. On a great offensive team he could be 27-0. Because of the team he plays on his record is 11-6. This is a great example where wins and losses tell you nothing about a pitchers performance. In 7 games where he gave up one run he is 0-6 with a no decision.

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18 Responses

  1. Bill

    All true…but with all the media about Clemens great season…I thought he’d have the lowest run support in the league, and he was something like 3rd or so. (Read it over the weekend in the Enquirer, I believe).

  2. Matt

    But you don’t give a Cy YOung to the player with the most or least run support. You SHOULD give the Cy Young to the best pitcher.

  3. DevilsAdvocate

    I was interested to see that even though Clemens has been tagged as a six-inning guy who doesn’t finish games anymore, he has almost exactly as many innings pitched as Dontrelle Willis, and 2.2 IP more than the famously free-agent-eligible A.J. Burnett. Each has started the same number of games.

    Assuming Clemens finishes with an ERA around 1.50, there’s no doubt in my mind that he should win the award. The only hesitation I have isn’t about wins, it’s about all his previous Cy Youngs. Give the other pitchers a chance!

  4. Bill

    I agree Matt. My point was the media’s talk of the lack of support for Clemens.

  5. Matt

    He has had a lack of support. Maybe other pitchers have had less support, but they haven’t pitched as well.

    I think we are saying the same thing.

  6. Brian B.

    Clemens should designate the Astros for assignment.

  7. Chris

    Look, I love Clemens, the guy is certainly one of the best ever, but to say that wins mean nothing is just plain ole’ ludicrous. He has 11 wins, and 6 losses. Yeah, the Astros can’t hit, but on 6 occasions the other team’s pitcher pitched better than him on that given night. Clemens ERA 1.50 is just awesome, but that is only part of it. You have to find ways to pitch better than your opponent no matter what. Carpenter deserves the Cy Young. He has 19 wins and a very good 2.29ERA. He has allowed more than 3 runs just twice, and the last time was back in the beginning of May. He also has pitched 20 more innings than Clemens in the same number of starts. You can’t ignore a 20 game winner and give a Cy Young to a 11 – 14 game winner…and no a writer who votes for Carpenter shouldn’t have his voting rights taken away. Frankly, I’d say it the other way around…SoCalRedsFan.

  8. Matt

    Is this our Chris from southern Cal?

    Are you crazy? When a pitcher gives up 1 run in 7 innings and takes a LOSS! You are saying it is his fault? That is beyond crazy. Chris Carpenter is the 2nd best pitcher in the NL on the one of the best offensive teams in the NL. That is the only reason he has 19-4 record. On the astros he would have a .500 W-L record.

  9. Scott

    Clemens’ run support average is skewed by a couple of outliers (3 games in which the Astros scored 14, 8 and 9 runs, respectively). Remove those three (out of 27 starts) and his run support is only 2.46 runs/game rather than 3.61. Carpenter’s run support? 5.18. This award should not just go to Clemens, but it should be a unanimous vote.

  10. Shawn

    Clemens won one year with the Yankees when he didn’t pitch that well but had 20 wins, so if Carpenter gets it this year it would just be karma, methinks.

  11. Chad

    That’s a different Chris, Matt. But he’s still welcome here! 😀

  12. Jim McCullough

    Of course, if he gets busted on steroids then he can forget any kind of awards.

    If Clemens was guilty, would MLB cover it up?

  13. Chris W

    If Clemens is guilty, not only can he forget about the Cy Young, but how much would it jeopardize his hall of fame chances? He’s been a lot more dominant than Palmeiro has, but nevertheless, would this be something that could keep the most dominant pitcher of my generation out of the Hall?

  14. Chris

    Matt,
    No I’m not crazy. The game of baseball is all about winning. Without Carpenter, the Cardinals are hurting big time. Note last year’s world series. You over looked the fact that on as good as Roger Clemens has been, he was out pitched on, at the very least, 6 occasions. You asked the question, “whether or not it should be the blame of Clemmens if he gives up 1 run in 7 innings and takes the loss”. The answer is yes. It’s all about winning. Let me turn that around on you. If you are losing 1 to nothing after 7, then who was the better pitcher on that day?

    Carpenter deserves the Cy Young hands down. Sometimes the numbers don’t work as good for a guy as they should, but when the day is over you have to win games. It’s like a closer that has an ERA of less than 1.5, but still blows a few games. You can’t blow saves no matter how low your ERA is, and as a starter your job is to win games period…SoCalRedsFan

  15. DevilsAdvocate

    Ah, but “who is the better pitcher on that day” is a problematic question for at least two reasons. #1, the Cy Young award goes to the single best pitcher, not to a collection of them who happened to pitch better than some particular pitcher every fifth day. #2, what teams are these pitchers shutting down? Clemens has to pitch against some great offensive teams especially in his own division, including St. Louis and Cincinnati. His opponents get to pitch against the Astros every time Clemens takes the mound, and the Astros offense is terrible with a capital T. Why should we hold Clemens to a higher standard (i.e. the several times he has to pitch shutout ball just to avoid a loss) just because his support is so poor?

    Given their respective ERAs, it stands to reason that if Carpenter and Clemens were switched, and Clemens had taken the hill for the Cardinals every fifth day and Carpenter did the same for Houston, that Clemens would have 20 wins right now and Carpenter would be about 10-5.

    Wins are the most important thing in baseball – for teams. But an individual pitcher does not have the last word on his own won-lost record, and thusly it is not necessarily reflective of his value or ability.

  16. Peter

    Excellent points Devil. A couple of thoughts that i hope contribute to the discussion…

    If the determining factor as to who wins a ballgame is runs scored versus runs against then it is obvious that a pitcher controls half of that ratio (Bill James would say less than that; He thinks defense accounts for up to 30% of a pitcher’s value). If the Astros are scoring 3.61 runs a game for Clemens and the Cardinals are putting 5.81 on the scoreboard that really isn’t Clemens fault. So why do we penalize him for it? Didn’t Jerome (or Jeriome) Robertson win something like 15 games with a 5.50 ERA a couple of years ago for Houston? What if him and Clemens were the winningest pitchers in the league that year? would you give Robertson the Cy Young because he was a “winner” or a “gamer”? I know that example is a bit ridiculous, but i think it illustrates the unfair emphasis we put on wins.

    And are those 20 innings that Carpenter has pitched really all that valuable? I don’t think so. Clemens has allowed 31 runs this year. Carpenter: 52. So if Clemens pitches 20 more innings would he have to be all that good to be better than Carpenter? Nope. All he would have to do is allow slightly less than one run an inning and he would be the superior pitcher. In fact, he could post an ERA of 7 in those 20 IP and he would be way more valuable.

    As to the argument that Clemens has been outpitched 6 times this year. I think Devil addressed that very well. Roger has such a small margin of error in his starts that a bad night when he allows 3(!!!) runs might end up as a loss. But if Carpenter allows 3 he’s sure to win. And we both know that neither guy can control how many runs their teams score.

    Just for fun, let’s look at a few examples Clemens’ game log:
    May 30: He lost to the Reds after pitching 8 innings and giving up 2 runs.
    June 5: He beat St. Louis after giving up 4 runs in 5 IP
    Aug 18: Loss at Milwaukee, he gives up 5 runs in 6.1 IP
    Aug 23: Loss, San Diego, 8 IP 2 ER

    Is there a pattern there? i don’t see one. All i can see from those examples is that he won games he shouldn’t have and lost a couple in which he pitched very well. And you know what, that’s the nature of the “Win” stat. It’s misleading and unfair. But i guess thats baseball for ya’.

    But we don’t have to vote that way (i don’t have a vote so i guess it doesn’t matter what i think). We can look at other stats that better reflect a players skill and not the skill (or lack thereof) of his team. VORP, ERA+. Those are stats that better reflect a player’s value to his team.

    If the MVP and Cy Young voting was fair, you would see players from last place teams winning the award. Why? Because by definition you are voting for the most valuable player to his team. Not the MVP from a playoff team.

    p.s. the Cardinals got hosed in the Series not because their pitching sucked, but because after the first game the entire team had a collective failure of astounding proportions.

  17. Peter

    On a related note, Baseball Prospectus had Carpenter as the 5th luckiest starter in the NL. His expected W-L record is 15-6.

    Clemens, on the other hand, is the 4th UNluckiest starter. His expected W-L is, gasp, 15-4.

  18. DevilsAdvocate

    Excellent article today about won-lost records for pitchers in The Hardball
    Times
    . The concept of wins and losses being assigned to individual pitchers is severely outdated, and has probably been that way for about 40 years.

    Here’s the article.