Before I go into why Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta truly deserved the Cy Young award given out on Wednesday night, I’ll say this. The BBWAA could not have gone wrong choosing this years NL Cy Young award winner. All three of the finalist, Arrieta, Grienke, and Kershaw all had terrific seasons in different aspects of the game. Arrieta absolutely dominated the second half, posting a 0.75 ERA post-ASB, which was one of the most dominant second halves in Major League history. Arrieta also led all of baseball in wins with 22, and had a dominant performance against the Dodgers in which he threw the franchises 14th no-hitter. Grienke, who was three wins behind Arrieta with 19, posted a 1.66 ERA over the whole season and never saw his ERA go above the 2 mark. He was the starter for the NL squad for the all star game, and had a streak of scoreless innings reach 46 1/3. Grienke was simply dominant all season long, and posted one of the lowest ERAs in MLB history. Lastly, Clayton Kershaw, winner of the 2014 Cy Young and MVP, had another stellar season mounting an unbelievable 301 strikeouts in 232 2/3 innings pitched. He struggled earlier in the year, going 6-6 with a 2.85 ERA before the break, but went 10-1 with a 1.35 during the second half of the season.
With that being said, Jake Arrieta definitely deserved to win the award and here is why.
When it came to breaking down the three finalists, I put the final 3 together to try and find a way to bring it down to just 2. My final 2 came down to Grienke and Arrieta, mainly because how ridiculous their ERA’s were, and because they tallied more wins than Kershaw(which isn’t particularly big in voting, but for this case we will use it.) Now to Grienke and Arrieta. Here’s how they stacked up in the National League in some of the main categories:
ERA 2 1
Strikeouts 3 11
FIP 2 5
Innings pitched 2 4
WAR 2 4
WPA 2 1
Wins 1 T-2
WHIP 2 1
If you add the numbers for each player up, Arrieta sits at 16, while Grienke sits at 29. Not even remotely close to each other. Another huge factor that I put between these two, is complete games and shutouts by each of them, which is showing a pitchers ability to go deep into games while being effective. In those two categories, Arrieta had 4 complete games, 3 of the shutout fashion including the previously mentioned no-hitter. Grienke only tallied one complete game, which came in a June 13th loss to the Padres where he gave up 2 runs and struck out 7. The crazy thing about that game, is that he didn’t even pitch a full 9 innings.
This is not taking away from the terrific seasons that Grienke and Kershaw posted this season, as they were both great and ones to look back on. I just believe its hard to beat what Arrieta accomplished this season, which is why I agree with the BBWAA’s decision to give him the Cy Young award.